For anyone who’s ever dismissed BuzzFeed as a bottomless pit of clickbait, listicles and endless animated .gif files, the millennial-friendly news and media co. has given them about seven billion reasons to eat their words.
At BuzzFeed’s recent NewFronts presentation, founder and CEO Jonah Peretti (pictured) shared Buzzfeed’s current metrics: seven billion monthly views (of all articles, videos and posts to platforms such as Snapchat), content on more than 30 platforms in 12 countries, with 75% of its content consumed off its own sites and apps (mostly on mobile).
That’s a big change from just a few years ago when the digital publisher had just 100,000 views, said Peretti, telling a packed audience in New York, “this shift has been driven by going to where the audience is and understanding what the audience wants and what they care about.”
BuzzFeed Motion Pictures president Ze Frank highlighted the strength of Buzzfeed’s originals, both scripted and unscripted, with an emphasis on supporting and nurturing what he called the “multi-hyphenates.”
“There is a new generation of voices coming in. They are different. They know how to write, produce, (and) act. They have an active social channel where they’ve been creating with fans. Sometimes they even have relationships with advertisers,” said Frank.
Short-form comedy series such as Broke and You Do You have earned tens of millions of views across Facebook and YouTube, and BuzzFeed has offered up the series for brands to sponsor through advertising and content integration. It’s also offering that option for the unscripted series The Try Guys, which has earned 535 million video views across Facebook and YouTube, as well as its upcoming companion series, The Try Kids.
Perhaps the company’s biggest runaway success has been its food brand Tasty, which publishes content native to Facebook on the main Tasty page, Tasty Junior, Tasty Happy Hour, Tasty Unboxed and Mom Vs. Chef.
Tasty, which BuzzFeed launched in the fall, sees 360 million Facebook users engage with its content every month. It’s also proven to be brand-friendly. One of its recent success stories was a collaboration with Jarden Consumer Solutions’ Oster Seven Minute Grill, which appeared as a sponsor in Tasty’s Jalapeno Popper Burger video. According to a company release, sales of the grill shot up in stores and online following the video.
But it’s not just because of the gooey, melty cheese and the sizzling bacon that Tasty has taken off. Frank Cooper III, CMO and chief creative officer at BuzzFeed, said the site’s formula for success remains the same across all of its verticals, and rests largely on word-of-mouth appeal.
The publisher’s fairly young audience is also receptive to branded content, said Cooper — approximately one-fifth of its highest viewed videos are branded videos.
With files from Darah Hansen, StreamDaily. Darah is in New York attending the NewFronts. If you’d like to arrange a meeting, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org