Peretti says that twentieth-century media businesses sowed the seeds of their own destruction by treating advertising as a “necessary evil.” He, by contrast, doesn’t care whether a post is produced by a journalist or sponsored by a brand, so long as it travels. He’s a semiotic Darwinist: He believes in messages that reproduce. “Some editorial content sucks, some ads are awesome,” Peretti told me, “and for many readers this line is even more important to them than church and state.” Within BuzzFeed, he’s stressed that creating custom-designed advertising posts is just as important as writing the hard news and soft candy. “People don’t do good work when they feel like losers and are second-class citizens within their own company,” he wrote in a memo distributed last year.(..)
Virgin Mobile is now a constant presence on BuzzFeed, publishing several posts a week. The company acts not only as a sponsor but also as a collaborator in creating the content, working with BuzzFeed in an arrangement Faris likens to a “newsroom.”
BuzzFeed ist sozusagen Publikation und Werbeagentur in einem.
Spannend ist auch BuzzFeeds Konzentration auf die Distribution der Artikel, und damit auch der Werbeartikel, über Facebook und co., welche über die Site selbst hinaus geht:
In return for functioning as a sort of early-warning system, BuzzFeed persuaded partner sites to install programming code that allowed the company to monitor their traffic. (The network now encompasses some 200 sites that serve 355 million users.) This analytical capacity, which the company doesn’t talk about much, has given BuzzFeed an enormous trove of data about what information people are reading and how they are sharing it. This is why one prominent New York digital-media executive described BuzzFeed to me as “a super-big ad tech company with a journalism veneer.”
Die Zahlen, sollten sie stimmen, sprechen für sich:
Currently, BuzzFeed is running 38 ad campaigns, which usually consist of about a month’s worth of posts, and cost an average of around $100,000, according to Steinberg. If those numbers are accurate, and its sales stay constant, a back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests BuzzFeed’s ad revenues could be as much as $40 million this year. (The private company won’t release figures.) That would be about a fifth of last year’s digital revenues for the entire New York Times Company.
Spannend auch, dass mit den ersten Unternehmen, die datenbasiert arbeiten und ihre Erkenntnisse teilen, auch unsere Vorstellungen davon, wer ein wichtiger Knoten im Netzwerk ist, in Frage gestellt werden könnten:
BuzzFeed has found its most popular posts don’t take off because Kim Kardashian shared them but because many people did in small groups—the median figure is just nine Facebook friends.
Insgesamt ist BuzzFeed weniger die eine Zukunft von Werbung und Journalismus und mehr ein weiterer Beweis für die künftig noch stärker zunehmende Diversifizierung. Die unterschiedlichen Wege zum Ziel nehmen zu.