Verizon Media and BuzzFeed have announced a new strategic partnership across content and advertising, the acquisition of HuffPost by BuzzFeed, and an investment that will make Verizon Media a minority shareholder in BuzzFeed.
From powering new consumer shopping experiences, to content syndication, to innovative ad products, the partnership will unlock new revenue opportunities for both media companies. The addition of HuffPost – which BuzzFeed will acquire – brings BuzzFeed a universally known brand with significant scale, and an audience complementary to its own.
“Verizon Media’s strategy has evolved over the past two years to focus on our core strengths-ads, commerce, content and subscriptions,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media. “We’ve created a powerhouse ecosystem, built on a trusted network, that delivers an end-to-end experience for consumers and advertisers. The partnership with BuzzFeed complements our roadmap while also accelerating our transformation and growth.”
“We’re excited about our partnership with Verizon Media, and mutual benefits that will come from syndicating content across each other’s properties, collaborating on innovative ad products and the future of commerce, and tapping into the strength and creativity of Verizon Media Immersive,” said Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO, BuzzFeed.
“I have vivid memories of growing HuffPost into a major news outlet in its early years, but BuzzFeed is making this acquisition because we believe in the future of HuffPost and the potential it has to continue to define the media landscape for years to come,” Peretti continued. “With the addition of HuffPost, our media network will have more users, spending significantly more time with our content than any of our peers.”
As part of the agreement, Verizon Media and BuzzFeed agree to syndicate content across each other’s platforms, create an innovation group to explore monetization opportunities, and leverage emerging ad formats, including extended reality (XR) and AR applications. BuzzFeed will also have the opportunity to leverage Verizon Media Immersive, the largest online XR platform for advertising and content. Additionally, BuzzFeed will also be able to tap into Verizon Media’s ad platform, which provides access to powerful, qualified data sets while reaching consumers across all channels, including mobile, desktop, video, native, addressable TV, Connected TV (CTV), Digital Out of Home (DOOH), and audio.
“While considering opportunities to work together, naturally, Jonah and I also discussed the property he co-founded, HuffPost,” said Gowrappan. “We quickly realised BuzzFeed’s strategy would complement HuffPost’s roadmap, injecting it with new energy and growing the brand into the future. We are deeply invested in the continued success of HuffPost and I couldn’t think of a better partner to take HuffPost to the next level.”
As part of the agreement, HuffPost will continue to contribute to Verizon Media’s portfolio as an official publishing partner, joining trusted premium content partners such as The New York Times, USA Today, Associated Press, and Reuters. HuffPost content will be amplified via Yahoo channels and products, boosting traffic and monetisation. BuzzFeed will be able to syndicate content across Verizon’s Media brands, including Yahoo – a huge driver of traffic for HuffPost – and more. Additionally, Verizon Media will continue to manage sales for HuffPost’s ad inventory.
BuzzFeed’s acquisition of HuffPost will bring it back full circle to its original co-founder, Jonah Peretti. HuffPost is a global, premier media platform for news, commentary, entertainment, features, and lifestyle content, and has been part of the Verizon Media portfolio since 2011. As a Verizon Media property, HuffPost has become a premium destination for award-winning journalism and was the first fully digital US publication to win the Pulitzer prize – a testament to its editorial excellence. With this acquisition, BuzzFeed’s scale, engagement and cultural impact will be unrivaled. Its diversified revenue model will expand across HuffPost, tapping into a broader, wealthier audience that is complementary to its own. BuzzFeed plans to extend its lines of business across HuffPost’s complementary demographic. BuzzFeed News and HuffPost will operate as separate, distinct news organisations.
Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.