BuzzFeed News could soon receive a $250 million investment from NBCUniversal, moving the site to a $1.5 billion valuation.
NBCUniversal has its eyes set on digital publishers catering to millennials, as it believes NBCU has missed this mark with an increasing number of Generation Yers consuming news online instead of watching television.
Reports state that the Comcast TV and film unit has a “handshake” agreement with BuzzFeed, which raised $50 million last year. While it is still possible the deal could fall through, sources have told online tech site Re/Code that the deal is coming to its final stages.
NBC CEO Steve Burke is focused on digital platforms that are successfully engaging with millennials at a pace NBCU’s TV networks are not. NBCU’s most popular shows such as “Today” and programs on E! and Bravo are steadily attracting an audience of those in their 30s, 40s and older.
The company is hoping to learn just what the digital publisher is doing right in content and distribution and BuzzFeed may also create content for NBCU in the future. BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Perettie is focused on what his company does best, digital content, but is open to trying new avenues.
“Television and film are areas that could be initial places where we could experiment,” Peretti said.
The “Blue and Black or White and Gold” dress phenomenon site (white and gold by the way) has many eyeballs on them as the platform brought in over $100 million in revenue last year. Those with some inside knowledge of the company believe BuzzFeed will hit $250 million this year.
This growth is partly the result of successful “native ads” created by the company’s ever-popular video unit. The video production unit, based in Los Angeles, uses what has been referred to as a “factor-like” production model creating video that is consumed mostly in other places besides the actual website such as Facebook or Youtube. This easily shareable content is the new must-have when it comes to bringing in advertising dollars.
Jonah Peretti, Buzzfeed CEO, is looking to move the entire company into this direction of consumption without ever having to necessarily go directly to the site. The list-fanatic content already brings in 200 million visitors a month.
Smart move by NBCUniversal?