Penske Media acquires 50% of SXSW

Acquisition makes the media company a longterm partner

P-MRC (Penske Media), which operates Billboard, Rolling Stone, Deadline, Variety and others, has acquired 50% stake in SXSW, making them a shareholder and longterm partner of the annual Austin, TX music and film festival. The acquisition is a “true lifeline” after having to cancel last year’s event and hosting this year’s online due to the pandemic.

“It has been an incredibly tough period for small businesses, SXSW included,” says SXSW CEO and co-founder Roland Swenson, per Deadline. “When Jay Penske approached us with an interest in becoming a partner, it was a true lifeline for us. Both of our companies share a passion for producing high quality content that helps shape modern culture, so this feels like a natural alliance. Now we are focused on the March 2022 event, and we’re honored to embark on a new chapter of SXSW with both his experience and the capabilities of P-MRC at our side.”

“We are grateful and proud to become enduring partners with SXSW, and collaborate with its exceptional team,” adds Jay Penske, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Penske Media. “Since 1987, SXSW has been the world’s premier festival centered at the convergence of tech, media, film, and music. Today SXSW continues to be one of the most recognized brands for empowering creative talent and bringing together the brightest creators of our time. As part of this significant investment, we plan to build upon SXSW’s incredible foundation while extending the platform further digitally and assisting Roland and his incredible team to bring their vision to even greater heights.”

SXSW’s management team and core business will not be affected by the acquisition.

The 2022 edition of South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals is currently slated for March 11-20, 2022 in Austin, TX. More details will be revealed later.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: