BuzzFeed made a short-but-sweet return to the (virtual) NewFronts stage for the first time since 2016, where in lieu of a traditional content slate announcement, the publisher shared how it has diversified its business in recent years over the course of a breezy, 10-minute presentation.
Looking beyond content, BuzzFeed turned a spotlight on its commerce and affiliate business — with CEO Jonah Peretti noting that the company has driven hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions — as well as licensing, branded content, and its new ad data product, Lighthouse.
Lighthouse, launched in March, enables marketers to tap into data from across the BuzzFeed network for more sophisticated targeting. One learning, for instance, is that someone reading food content is five times more likely to search for parenting content. Lighthouse surfaces data from across all of BuzzFeed’s properties, including BuzzFeed.com, BuzzFeed News, Tasty, and recently-acquired HuffPost — for a total of 104 million monthly users and 3.2 billion monthly content views (in the U.S.).
BuzzFeed also said that, over the past year, it had come to serve as a particularly useful asset to brands amid the pandemic, helping partners navigate an uber-accelerated digital shift. And as the pandemic winds down, BuzzFeed says, it remains committed to helping readers and brands alike to navigate yet another transition.
Finally, Peretti took a slight dig at competing video platforms, saying that BuzzFeed stands by its brand-safe content in ways that competitors don’t, and that it seeks to create content that’s good for people’s lives. To this end, during its NewFront presentation, BuzzFeed highlighted several content verticals, including Black culture brand Cocoa Butter and Latinx-focused Pero Like, both of which look to synthesize internet trends with content that is authentic and educational.