Online Video Distribution: BuzzFeed


In a world, full of online users looking for entertainment, BuzzFeed tops the charts for content.  BuzzFeed is the leading independent digital media company that delivers news and entertainment to people across the globe.  BuzzFeed uses multiple platforms, including its own site and apps, along with Facebook, Snapchat, and other digital platforms to reach their audience.  It is seen as clickbait, designed to gain the attention of the audience and to get them to click on the link.  It strives to connect with its audience and give them content that they would enjoy and want to share with their friends, family, and others around the globe.

While its headquarters is located in New York City, it has multiple entertainment studios and offices located across the globe; Los Angeles, Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, and others.  The BuzzFeed team consists of over 1,300 employees across 18+ offices.  The CEO and founder is Jonah Peretti After co-founding The Huffington Post, Peretti went on to launch BuzzFeed in 2006.  BuzzFeed was seen as an experiment that tracked viral content and to create something that people would want to share with others across the globe (About BuzzFeed,


BuzzFeed is responsible for many of the different aspect of the supply chain in regard to the online industry. BuzzFeed is careful to make sure that it owns all of its content, to make sure it is covering its tracks.  BuzzFeed is known for owning the iconic Tasty cooking videos and the Nifty videos.  These are some of the most viewed videos on line, bringing in thousands of views per video. It even is capitalizing on a creation of a cook book filled with recipes that could be found in a Tasty video.  BuzzFeed also utilizes its content creation through user-generated content.  This is done when creative users of the site submit their post for edit and posting.  The user is supposed to promote the post and try and get audience attention, but BuzzFeed uses its production format to put it all together and showcase it.  This is mainly focused on article posting and not video.  BuzzFeed produces its video content to the users and owns the rights to it.  This social media site uses algorithms so that users can search for certain articles on its website, which also could lead to the promotion of articles that may be similar to the post the viewer is looking up.

Business Model

BuzzFeed takes advantage of the multiple media platforms available to distribute its content throughout the world for the enjoyment of those that follow and watch.  They use 45 different distribution channels, such as Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, AOL., Yahoo!, Kik, Line, and many others.  These apps fall into multiple categories: Video Syndication Partners, Curators & Partners, BuzzFeed Apps, Messaging Apps, and Platforms & Social Networks.  It is apparent that BuzzFeed’s success is due to the Video Syndication Partners (Liscio, 2016). 75% of its traffic comes from social media referrals.  Erin Phraner, Senior Video Producer at BuzzFeed shared how it is starting to use Snapchat to showcase its content. “We recently launched 2 new discover channels on Snapchat for Tasty and Nifty for distribution” (Phraner, Senior Video Producer, September 19, 2017).

BuzzFeed’s videos receive more than one billion viewers every month, showcasing the popularity of the videos.  Using this model pushes the distribution team to look for uncommon methods of sharing the content.  Peretti realized that fewer people want to actually go on the app to find content, so he decided to take the content to their social media accounts.  No better way to get audience attention than to bring the content right to them (Robischon, 2016). Phraner shared how BuzzFeed relies mainly on social media for its distribution. “One thing I can definitely say is that BuzzFeed uses social media for basically all of its distribution. Our video content is published on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram Stories and Snapchat. We measure success not only by video views but by video shares; meaning not only do we use social media to distribute our content, we’re aiming for people ON social media to share the content and continue distributing our videos on those platforms” (Phraner, September 19, 2017).  BuzzFeed also uses data, a method to track its content on the multiple media sites it uses to distribute content.  It uses a method called Pound that measures how many times a post is liked, clicked on, or shared (Ingram, 2016).  BuzzFeed also focuses on the distribution emotion, the emotion of those who visits and views the content.  This can be applied to advertising, knowing how to market on social media and using a share model to gain attention from consumers (Constine, 2015).

Revenue Model

BuzzFeed, like other online media sites, finds revenue in various ways.  It uses the method of paid promotion of branded content, where a brand can either sign up with BuzzFeed to promote its business or to have BuzzFeed write some content about the brand in question.  The content appears in various ways on BuzzFeed: on the top menu, below content at the bottom of an article, or along the side while audience scroll through the article or watch the videos.  Brands also pay BuzzFeed to be able to advertise on their website.  BuzzFeed also creates content, like videos, to promote the brand.  An example of this is for Purina Puppy Chow dog food.   This method takes the brand place it throughout the video, where a young man buys a puppy andthe process of training begins.  This video was so popular and worked well that BuzzFeed and Purina created more advertisement videos. It charges the clients set fees for creating content for them.  This content creation has been very successful, since it doesn’t look like an advertisement.  Viewers read or watch the content they are interested in, yet are introduced to various advertisements throughout (Gallagher, 2015). This method has worked very successfully for BuzzFeed.

Current News

BuzzFeed is consistently moving forward and creating new content.  Some of the current news going on with BuzzFeed. During this political season, many companies decided to

back out of supporting BuzzFeed, based on some of the content that was being produced for the website.  CNN, for example, has decided to pull from supporting BuzzFeed with the allegations that BuzzFeed was promoting political articles as real news.  While this may be the case, other companies, such as NBCUniversal, are sticking by BuzzFeed, and even
doubling revenue that is being put into the company.  BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal are even partnering up to create a new TV show.  NBCUniversal has invested over 200 million dollars into BuzzFeed at first, which is now up to 400 million dollars, and is now using BuzzFeed to help create a show that is based on investigative reporting.  This will be done by BuzzFeed writers and NBCUniversal will utilize the fast-paced method BuzzFeed uses for its content and push it onto television (Ingram, 2017). “In BuzzFeed’s world, it has an idea and two days later it is shooting and putting it up immediately, in the linear television world, things happen in months” (Wachtel, NBCUniversal Chief Content Officer).


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