BuzzFeed’s mix of serious news articles and videos and sponsored content has led detractors, including Noam Chomsky, to criticise the company’s business model. More than once recently, BuzzFeed’s sponsors have demanded the removal of editorial content – and gotten their way. Consumers don’t seem to mind: the company’s videos boast a billion views a month, it told audiences in its annual presentation to prospective (and established) advertisers in Manhattan in April. And it produced more than 1,800 of those videos in the last 12 months.
“We’re very focused on building out internationally; we’re very focused on building out across multiple different platforms; we’re very focused on building out our video business,” Peretti told the audience at Code, a conference run by tech news site ReCode. Diversifying in that way would give BuzzFeed “things that would allow us to be a public company”.
The tech concern works closely enough with advertisers to be perceived by the relatively staid agency world as a threat; much of the advertising video and text on the site is produced by teams in-house at BuzzFeed, and clients are happy to have it that way, given how successful the company has been at getting users to share its posts.
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