Complex (magazine)

From The Trax Project
Jump to: navigation, search

Template:Advert Template:Infobox Magazine Complex is a New York–based media platform for youth culture which was founded as a bi-monthly magazine by fashion designer Marc Milecofsky.<ref name="Sternberg">Sternberg, Josh. "How Complex Straddles The Ad Network Publisher Divide". <span />Digiday<span />. Digiday. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> Complex reports on trends in style, pop culture, music, sports and sneakers with a focus on streetwear, sneaker culture, hip-hop, and graphic art. Complex currently reaches over 120 million unique users per month<ref name="Spangler">Spangler, Todd. "Complex Expands to Give Dudes Their Due". Variety. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> across its owned and operated and partner sites, socials and YouTube channels.<ref name=pluto>Robbins, Roni. "Pluto.TV Expands Its Lineup of Web Channels, Including Complex Boosts programming as it takes on traditional TV". AdWeek. </ref><ref name=daily>"Premium Content Creators AOL, Network A, Complex, Deca, Maker Studio & Whalerock Bring Original Series & Video Libraries to Dailymotion". Daily Motion. </ref> The magazine ceased publication with the December 2016/January 2017 issue.<ref>Tyler McCall (December 8, 2016). "Complex to end print publication". Fashionista. Retrieved January 15, 2017. </ref> In 2016 December, Complex acquired the website

Complex has been named by Business Insider as one of the Most Valuable Startups in New York,<ref name="Business Insider">"The 30 Most Valuable Internet Startups in New York". Business Insider. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> and Most Valuable Private Companies in the World.<ref name="Shontell">Shontell, Alyson. "DIGITAL 100 REVISED: The Most Valuable, Private Companies In The World". Business Insider. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> Complex CEO Rich Antoniello was named among the Silicon Alley 100.<ref>Rose Rickey, Megan. "SA 100 2013: The Coolest People in New York Tech". Business Insider. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> In 2012, the company launched Complex TV, an online broadcasting platform; in 2016, it became a joint-venture subsidiary of Verizon and Hearst.<ref name="">"Verizon Hearst Media Partners - Hearst". Retrieved 21 November 2016. </ref>


Complex was established in 2002<ref>Allard, Greg (October 3, 2015). "The Top 20 Selling Fashion Magazines". Tune Groover. Retrieved September 18, 2016. </ref> by the founder of the Eckō Unltd. brand, Marc Eckō, as a print magazine aimed at providing young males a report of the latest in hip-hop, fashion and pop culture without regard to race.<ref name="Sternberg"/> The name Complex evolved from a slogan developed to promote the Eckō Unltd. website: "Ecko.complex".<ref>Kenner, Rob. "The Oral History of Complex". Complex. Complex Media. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> The idea was to create a men's magazine that combined Eckō's streetwear and hip-hop attitude along with the style of Japanese men's magazines by providing consumer guides. This was achieved by creating a magazine in two sections: one traditional magazine, and the other a shopping guide.

In 2005, Complex was joined by the former senior editor of Vibe magazine, Noah Callahan-Bever. He became editor-in-chief and chief content officer a year later; a position he still retains as of February 2014.<ref>Staff. "Complex Names New Editor-in-Chief". New York Observer. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> By 2006, Complex had begun to turn a profit which allowed the magazine to consider an expansion of their online presence. In April 2007, Complex soft-launched a media network with four websites: NahRight, Nice Kicks, SlamxHype and MoeJackson.<ref name="Dumenco">Dumenco, Simon. "The Print Guy Who's Going 45% Digital". Ad Age. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref>


In September 2007, Complex launched Complex Media in order to fully capitalize on the trend toward digital content.<ref>Chowdry, Amit. "Accel Partners and Austin Ventures Invest $12.8 Million in Marc Ecko's Complex Media". Pulse 2.0. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> In 2010, ad sales grew 154%.<ref>Flamm, Matthew. "Web network boosts Complex Media". Crain's. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> According to comScore, Complex got 12 million unique hits in March 2012. This encouraged large brands such as Coors, AT&T, Ford, McDonald's, Nike, Adidas and Apple to advertise within the collective. Complex now includes over 100 sites.<ref name="Sternberg"/>

In 2011, Complex acquired Pigeons & Planes, an indie music and rap blog, and brought their total sites to 51 with monthly traffic of 25 million uniques.<ref name=adweek>Moses, Lucia. "Complex Media Network Relaunches Flagship Site". AdWeek. </ref> In 2012, Complex launched Four Pins, a humorous menswear site, edited by Fuck Yeah Menswear author Lawrence Schlossman;<ref>Caramanica, Jon. "Hip-Hop Comes to Men's Wear". New York Times. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> Sneaker Report, a performance footwear site;<ref>Bengston, Russ. "Introducing Sneaker Report". Complex. Complex Media. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> and First We Feast, a food culture site edited by former Time Out New York food editor Chris Schonberger.<ref>Merwin, Hugh. "Complex Launches Food Section, 'First We Feast'". Grub Street. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> In 2013, Complex launched the dance music site Do Androids Dance<ref>Confusion (January 7, 2013). "Complex Launches Do Androids Dance, a New EDM Site". Pigeons & Planes. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> and Green Label, a branded content site presented by Mountain Dew.<ref>Elliott, Stuart. "Brought to You by Mountain Dew". New York Times. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> That year, Complex also acquired the sneakerhead culture magazine and website Sole Collector.<ref>Rose Dickey, Megan (March 14, 2013). "How This Guy Turned His Shoe Obsession Into A Prime Acquisition Target". Business Insider. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref>

On November 4, 2013, Complex premiered a new logo and cover design on Instagram that would appear online, as well as on the December 2013 Eminem cover issue.<ref>Bhuiyan, Johana. "Complex Media gets a new logo and identity". Capital New York. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref><ref>"Noah Callahan-Bever on Eminem's Limited 1992 Edition Cover". Youtube. 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref>

In 2013, Complex partnered with Mountain Dew to launch "Green Label" an entertainment and culture website.<ref name=dew>Elliott, Stuart (April 23, 2013). "Brought to You by Mountain Dew". The New York Times. </ref> In 2014, Complex launched an NBA-themed website called "Triangle Offense" in a partnership with Bacardi rum.<ref>"Bacardi Signs As Exclusive Sponsor Of New NBA Lifestyle Website From ComplexMedia". Sports Business Daily. </ref>

In August 2014, Complex ranked #3 in the United States in a ComScore survey of unique visitors between the ages of 18 and 34 with 20.3 million in that demographic per month.<ref name=mil>McDermott, John. "Turns out traditional publishers do just fine with millennials". Digiday. </ref>

In January 2015, Complex announced its acquisition of, the online source for movies, television, breaking news, incisive content, and imminent trends. reaches over 3 million monthly unique readers (comScore, December 2014) powered by a team of ten writers, including founder and Editor in Chief Steve Weintraub.<ref>"Complex Buys Fanboy Site Collider for Growing Media Network Reorienting Toward Video". Ad Age. Advertising Age. January 23, 2015. </ref>

In 2015, Do Androids Dance was merged into Complex.<ref>Dance Site Do Androids Dance to Merge with Complex</ref> In 2016, Four Pins was closed.<ref>Menswear Blog Four Pins Is Shutting Down</ref>


In 2009, Complex raised $12.8 million from Accel Partners and Austin Ventures.<ref name=gigaom>Kee, Tameka. "Updated: Marc Ecko's Complex Media Gets $12.8 Million, Spins Off Into Standalone Company". Gigaom. </ref>

In September 2013, Complex secured $25 million in a second round of funding from Iconix Brand Group, who own Rocawear, Starter, Eckō Unltd. and Umbro, among others.<ref>Shontell, Alyson. "Complex Media Raises $25 Million From The Powerhouse Behind Umbro And Rocawear, Iconix Brand Group". Business Insider. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref>

Verizon Hearst Media Partners subsidiary (2016-present)

On April 18, 2016, Complex was acquired by a joint venture of Hearst Communications and Verizon Communications, Verizon Hearst Media Partners. The venture emphasized a goal of building "a portfolio of the emerging digital brands of the future for the millennial and Gen-Z audience", and proposed that Complex would develop content for Verizon-owned AOL and go90.<ref name="variety-complexacquire">"Verizon, Hearst to Acquire Complex Media". Variety. Retrieved 21 March 2017. </ref>


Complex became known early on for its double-sided covers and split format.<ref name="Hirschman">Hirschman, David. "So what do you do, Noah Callaghan-Bever, EIC, Complex?". mediabistro. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> Complex covers often combined celebrities from across music, film and sports. For example, Mos Def and David Bowie appeared together on the cover of the August/September 2003 issue. Some of Complex's early covers included Nas (May 2002), Tony Hawk and Xzibit (June/July 2002), Ludacris and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (April/May 2003), and Mos Def and David Bowie (August/September 2003). In 2007, Complex gave Kim Kardashian her first ever magazine shoot and cover.<ref>Denver, Nate. "Kim Kardashian: Almost Famous (2007 Cover Story & Gallery)". Complex. Complex Media. Retrieved February 13, 2014. </ref> Complex has since expanded to interactive digital covers.<ref>"Digital Covers". Complex. </ref>

Complex TV

Complex TV launched in 2012 as an online broadcaster of original content. Nathan Brown, a long-time video development and production executive, serves as general manager of Complex TV and Video.<ref>VideoInk (4 December 2013). "Complex Media Expands Video Team, Including Nathan Brown as GM (Q&A)". Retrieved 21 November 2016. </ref> In December 2013, a subsidiary of Complex TV, Complex News, was launched, focusing on day-to-day news.<ref name="Spangler"/><ref>Patel, Sahil. "Complex Bolsters Originals Slate with Riff Raff-Hosted Variety Show". Video Ink. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref><ref>Hunte, Justin. ""RiFF RAFF REALM" Debuts on Complex TV". HipHopDX. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> In 2014, added Complex Media as a content partner in an attempt to challenge traditional TV.<ref name=pluto/> Complex Content Studio is supported by an 18-person editorial team.<ref name=dig>Bilton, Ricardo. "A look inside publishers’ content studios". </ref>

Complex TV has produced more than a dozen original shows,<ref>"Complex - Making Culture Pop". Retrieved 21 November 2016. </ref><ref>VideoInk (21 November 2013). "Complex Bolsters Originals Slate with Riff Raff-Hosted Variety Show". Retrieved 21 November 2016. </ref> which include:

<div class="div-col columns {{#if:

   | column-width
   | column-count column-count-{Template loop detected: Template:Cols " style="-moz-column-count: 3; -webkit-column-count: 3; column-count: 3;   ">
  • Magnum Opus
  • Everyday Struggle
  • Hot Ones
  • Quickstrike
  • Fashion Bros!
  • Desus vs. Mero
  • This Week on Netflix
  • Mero in the Wild
  • The Neighborhood
  • The Combat Jack Show
  • Complex Individuals
  • No Debate
  • Trailer Hitch
  • Ratchet News Network
  • TBT
  • The Process
  • First Look
  • Riff Raff Realm
  • Complex Kids
  • Tracking
  • Cut & Show
  • C-List
  • Overcranked


Fashion Bros

In 2014, Complex launched "Fashion Bros", featuring Complex style editors Lawrence Schlossman and James Harris as hosts. The show discusses the good and the bad of menswear fashion.<ref name=holly>JARVEY, NATALIE. "COMPLEX TV LAUNCHES STYLE SERIES 'FASHION BROS.'". </ref> The show has drawn attention from The New York Times, Buzzfeed, The Hollywood Reporter, among others.<ref name=holly/><ref name=nyt>TREBAY, GUY. "Nick Wooster, One-Man Brand". The New York Times. </ref><ref name=buzz>Gerstein, Julie. "Why You Need To Be Watching "Fashion Bros"". Buzzfeed. </ref>

In 2014, Complex won "Best Original Non-Scripted Video Series" at the Digiday Video Awards for "Magnum Opus".<ref name="digiday">Wallace, Caitlin. "GE Wins Best in Show at Digiday Video Awards". </ref>

Key staff and contributors

Brand partnerships

In 2013 Digiday stated Complex was one of the publishers that "acts like an agency" based on their branded content and brand partnerships.<ref name=agency>Marshall, Jack. "The Publisher of The Future Acts Like An Agency". Digiday. </ref> In 2013 alone, Complex created an average of 47 pieces of content a month on behalf of major brands, including McDonald's, Gillette, Levi’s, Toyota, Adidas and others.<ref name=agency/> It also partnered with Pepsico to launch, a Mountain Dew branded lifestyle site that’s staffed by Complex’s editorial employees. Green Label currently attracts over twice as much traffic as<ref name=agency/> Later in 2013, Complex worked with Dr. Pepper to a series of videos aimed at young males featuring producer/songwriter The-Dream.<ref name=clickz>D'Amico, Mary Lisbeth. "Dr Pepper Reaches Out to Younger Hipper Audience". Clickz. </ref>


In 2011, Complex was named one of "The 30 Most Valuable Internet Startups In New York" by Business Insider.<ref name="Business Insider"/> The following year Complex was named one of "The Most Valuable, Private Companies In The World" with an estimated valuation of $250 million.<ref name="Shontell"/>

In 2014, Complex won "Best Original Non-Scripted Video Series" at the Digiday Video Awards for "Magnum Opus".<ref name="digiday" />

In 2015, Complex won "Best Video Destination – Entertainment for Complex TV".<ref name="digiday-b">Bottger, Caroline. "BuzzFeed, OMD, Fullscreen among the winners at Digiday Video Awards". </ref>


Lil Wayne and Jay-Z

In the December/January 2007 issue, Lil Wayne announced that he had superseded Jay-Z: "It's not your house anymore and I'm better than you," Lil Wayne said. Jay-Z responded shortly after, discouraging Lil Wayne from smoking "cannabis" on a guest verse on rapper T.I.'s song "Watch What You Say". Lil Wayne responded on a track called "Beat Without Bass", by the rapper Freekey Zekey, saying: "You old-ass rappers better stay on tour. You're like forty-four, I got a .44, I'm twenty-four. I could murk you and come home when I'm forty-four."<ref>Frere-Jones, Sasha. "HIGH AND MIGHTY". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 13, 2014. </ref>

Kim Kardashian photo

In 2009, reported that Complex had posted a digitally unenhanced version of April/May issue cover star Kim Kardashian. Complex swapped the enhanced image on their site, but not before the unenhanced version had gone viral. Kardashian responded to the incident on her blog, saying: "So what: I have a little cellulite. What curvy girl doesn't!?"<ref>Kardashian, Kim. "Yes, I Am Complex!". Kim Kardashian. Celebuzz. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> She went on to say that she was "proud" of her body, posting behind-the-scenes pictures of the shoot on her website.<ref name=hp>"Kim Kardashian Airbrushed Thinner, Smoother, Lighter". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> The incident was covered by a variety of online publications including Huffington Post, NY Daily News, Business Insider, Gawker, and others.<ref name=hp/><ref>"Kim Kardashian on retouched Complex magazine photos: Yup - I have cellulite!". NY Daily News. </ref>

Uncovering the whereabouts of Earl Sweatshirt

In 2011, Odd Future member Thebe Kgositsile, better known by his stage name Earl Sweatshirt, had discontinued making public appearances with the group and making music entirely. His whereabouts remained a mystery with various outlets reporting different stories. In 2011, Complex was the first to report the true location of the missing member of Odd Future. He had been checked into Coral Reef Academy in Samoa, a retreat for at-risk boys. Earl Sweatshirt eventually returned to the United States in 2012.<ref>Baker, Ernest. "Complex Exclusive: We Found Earl Sweatshirt". Complex. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref><ref>Sanneh, Kelefa. "WHERE'S EARL?". New Yorker. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref><ref>Duncan, Byard. "The GQ&A: Earl Sweatshirt". GQ. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref>

Pyrex Vision

In January, 2013, Four Pins broke the news that the streetwear clothing line of Kanye West's creative director Virgil Abloh had screenprinted blank flannel shirts made by the Rugby Ralph Lauren brand and re-sold them for 700% mark-up, suggesting that some stores had marketed the shirts by photoshopping the Rugby tags out of the images on their online stores.<ref>DeLeon, Jian. "No One Pyrex Should Have All Those Rugby Flannels". Four Pins. Retrieved February 13, 2014. </ref><ref>Cush, Andy. "Did Kanye's Creative Director Mark Up a Rugby Flannel by $470?". AnimalNewYork. Retrieved February 13, 2014. </ref><ref>Zack (January 10, 2013). "Don't Waste Yor Money: Pyrex Vision is as Authentic as Fake Boobs". Ahoodie. Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved February 13, 2014. </ref>

Balthazar bathroom attendant scandal

On November 4, 2013, FirstWeFeast broke news that the proprietor of popular Soho brasserie Balthazar, Keith McNally, would continue employing his bathroom attendants in a different capacity after previously stating they would be relieved of their jobs. The CEO of Business Insider, Henry Blodget, had initially prompted their dismissal in a blog post on his website, but following the deluge of press about the firings, McNally told FirstWeFeast they would remain employees of Balthazar.<ref>Kamer, Foster. "McNally Responds to the Balthazar Bathroom Attendant Fiasco: Employyes Saved Despite Blodget's Bullying". FirstWeFeast. Retrieved February 13, 2014. </ref><ref>Janos, Adam. "Blogger gets eatery's bathroom staff fired". New York Post. Retrieved February 13, 2014. </ref><ref>"Balthazar Won't Fire Bathroom Attendants After All! (UPDATE)". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 13, 2014. </ref>

Wale threatens Complex staff

On December 11, 2013, Complex writer Insanul Ahmed received a call from rapper Wale complaining that his latest album, The Gifted, had not been included on Complex's "50 Best Albums of 2013" list.<ref>Ahmed, Insanul. "The 50 Best Albums of 2013". Complex. Complex Media. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> A portion of the conversation was recorded and posted on the Complex website and on Complex TV on December 13. Wale could be heard threatening: "Get the security ready." According to Complex, Wale refused requests to meet, but he did post a humorous Instagram video that day which made light of the situation. Wale, later appearing on Hot97, said that his fall-out with Kid Cudi had something to do with the snub, and that he was not "begging Williamsburg hipsters" to like his music.<ref>Ahmed, Insanul. "Wale Threatens Complex Staff Over Our "50 Best Albums of 2013" List". Complex. Complex Media. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref><ref>Millard, Drew. "A few words about this whole "Wale threatening Complex" thing". Noisey. Vice Media. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref><ref>Markman, Rob. "Wale Vs. Complex Magazine: I Won't Apologize To 'Williamsburg Hipsters'". MTV. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref><ref>Kennedy, Gerrick. "Wale threatens Complex magazine after omission from year-end list". LA Times. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref><ref>Vann, Douglas. "Video: Wale Throws Temper-Tantrum Over Complex Magazine Article". Vann Digital Networks. Retrieved February 9, 2014. </ref> Wale was referring to the October/November 2010 issue of Complex in which Kid Cudi said: "We don't fuck with you musically." The quote quickly went viral.<ref>Muhammed, Latifah. "Wale Blames Complex Magazine Snub on Kid Cudi Beef". BET. BET. Retrieved February 13, 2014. </ref>

See also


<references group="" responsive="0"></references>

External links

Template:Verizon Template:Hearst