Digital marketing is a big lottery: you never exactly know what will take off and how long your success will last. With all Jonah Peretti’s ideas Buzzfeed got lucky at the beginnig, but now we can see that Buzzfeed is facing some difficulties and critique. Is the end of Buzzfeed really near or it’s just another trick by jealous competitors?


Buzzfeed became a guarantee of laugh

Buzzfeed is a creation of Jonah Peretti who took part in foundation of HuffPost. While working on HuffPost, Peretti pointed out a lot of things that can be useful and had an excellent experience. That’s why there is so much in common between these two big digital media. However, Peretti stepped further: his main aim was to create an youth-oriented media with a lot of spree content. Just have a look of its section in front of the banner: LOL, win, OMG, cute, fail, wtf. People visit Buzzfeed because they know there’s a guarantee they receive some funny stuff that will make one’s day. As a result, Buzzfeed tops 130 million unique visitors monthly and remains the most visitable website.

Buzzfeed. Media Properties Statistics


Online videos as the main tool

Buzzfeed is famous for its viral videos which gain 1.5 million views every month and became a huge video content maker. Buzzfeed regards itself as a pioneer in online live video’s area and here what editor-in-chief Ben Smith thinks about it: «This medium (online live video) is in its infancy and it’s fascinating to see how it develops. There’s a lot we can learn from that. How do you take that insight into other spaces, i.e. news is certainly being one of them.» Indeed, Millennials’ tendency to watch a lot of videos online builds up Buzzfeed’s strategy. Lee Brown, chief revenue officer at Buzzfeed, calls it «a mobile-first video component» and he has it right.

Not so long ago Buzzfeed posted a video where two Buzzfeed employees were trying to blow up a watermelon rubber bands. Though the video lasts 40 minutes, more than 800000 people were watching it, which makes Buzzfeed very proud of this campaign. The reason of its success still remains a magic. Some critics claim the Buzzfeed approach with its videos is trivial and it can’t work forever, but it still does.


Buzzfeed. Media Properties Statistics


While visitors are laughing, editors have to worry

Despite the enormous success of Buzzfeed’s campaigns, the Financial Times reports that Buzzfeed has slashed its revenue projections for 2016 from $500 million to $250 million after missing this year’s target by $80 million. The Financial Times sources say that Buzzfeed’s business model is not very effective. Buzzfeed makes customized campaigns for brands, but it takes much time and many expenses to do one. Nevertheless, the Buzzfeed-team doesn’t want to admit the decline of revenue: “We are very pleased with where BuzzFeed is today and where it will be tomorrow.

We are very comfortable with where the digital content world is going and think we are well-positioned.” Besides, Lee Brown told that Buzzfeed shows the growth across «different geographies». By this Brown obviously means Australia as the Buzzfeed staff finds australian journalistic culture unique: «Australia has this really strong media culture, kind of across that whole spectrum from crazy internet stuff to really, really hard reporting». Seems like editors are looking for the solutions of financial problems on another shore without admitting it.

2016 brought Buzzfeed a bunch of problems from low revenue to cutting off staff. And of course it’s a great chance for competitors to say Buzzfeed is dying. But Buzzfeed seems to pay no attention to it, it’s busy with something more important: creating new viral videos and making people laugh.

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