Success Crafted

From Virality to Revenue: How BuzzFeed Monetizes its Global Media Empire

BuzzFeed is a media company known for its viral content that has taken the internet by storm. Founded by Jonah Peretti in 2006, BuzzFeed has grown into a global brand with a presence in 12 countries and over 1,100 employees.

In this article, we will delve into the history of BuzzFeed, its content channels, and its global presence.

Company Profile

BuzzFeed has become synonymous with the term virality as it has created content that gets widely shared across the internet. It has an expansive reach, and its audience is largely driven by its knack for creating content with topics that resonate with people.

From politics to food, to fashion, to celebrity culture, the companys goal is to create content that people find entertaining, educational, funny, or emotional. BuzzFeed has different content channels, including written content, videos, quizzes, and audio.

The companys written content includes articles on a wide range of topics such as current affairs, food, entertainment, politics, and lifestyle. BuzzFeed videos cover a broad range of content, including short films, comedy skits, and documentaries that have caught the attention of social media users worldwide.

The quizzes on the site have become hugely popular and are often shareable. The quizzes are fun and cover topics such as personality tests, food quizzes, and trivia quizzes that have captivated many users.

BuzzFeed is also known for its audio channels, which include podcasts that cover topics such as politics, parenting, relationships, mental health, and culture.

Global Presence

BuzzFeed has a global presence in twelve countries, including the United States, UK, Australia, Canada, India, and Germany. It has localized content that takes into account cultural relevance, making BuzzFeed a unique platform with a global voice.

The company’s success in different countries is attributed to its ability to leverage social media platforms to build a loyal audience. The company has been able to expand its reach through strategic partnerships with local media organizations and using user-generated content to keep readers engaged.

BuzzFeed has become a global brand, and its success hinges on its ability to create compelling content that resonates with its audience worldwide.

History of BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed was founded in 2006 by Jonah Peretti, a media entrepreneur, and co-founder of the Huffington Post. Peretti’s interest in creating viral content stemmed from his exposure to eye tracking studies at MIT that showed how content spreads on the internet.

This experience led him to experiment with the creation of viral content, which eventually led to the founding of BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed’s initial focus was on creating content that would go viral by leveraging the audiences of various social media platforms.

The company’s early focus was on humor, entertainment, and current affairs. In 2011, BuzzFeed launched long-form content, including investigative journalism, which helped the company build its credibility as a media organization.

Obsessing Over Measurement

BuzzFeed’s early success was rooted in its unrelenting focus on measurement. The company obsessively tracked clicks, views, and social media shares to determine which content was resonating with readers.

BuzzFeed used data science to identify the types of content that were popular, and it iterated content, testing different headlines and content formats to determine what would work best.

Early adoption of Social Media

BuzzFeed was one of the early media companies to adopt social media, which helped it quickly gain a foothold. BuzzFeed focused on creating content that was shareable on different social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, which helped spread its content and increase its reach.

Audience Building

The company built a loyal audience through its relentless focus on creating content that resonated with people. BuzzFeed’s audience is made up of millions of readers worldwide who are drawn to its content’s accessibility, humor, and cultural relevance.


BuzzFeed has become one of the most recognizable media brands globally, with a presence in over 12 countries. The company’s success is driven by its ability to create content that resonates with readers and spreads virally across the internet.

Its early adoption of social media and focus on measurement helped it build a loyal audience that has helped to propel the company to greater heights. With its unique blend of content channels, BuzzFeed is poised to continue growing its audience, regionally and globally.

BuzzFeed is known for being one of the biggest names in online media, and it has managed to generate revenue through a range of monetization tactics. From display advertising to subscription-based revenue, BuzzFeed employs different strategies to generate revenue.

In this article, we will delve into BuzzFeed’s monetization tactics, funding, valuation, and revenue.

Monetization Tactics

Display Advertising

Display advertising is one of the primary ways that BuzzFeed makes money. The company employs different cost structures when it comes to display advertising, including Cost-Per-Click (CPC), Cost-Per-Sale (CPS), and fixed promotion prices.

CPC and CPS models pay BuzzFeed each time a user clicks on an ad or makes a purchase related to a particular product, while fixed promotion prices guarantee BuzzFeed a fee for a predetermined placement of an ad on its platform.

Video Advertising

BuzzFeed has an expansive video content library that serves as a lucrative source of revenue for the company. The company primarily generates video advertising revenue through platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Netflix.

Pre-roll and mid-roll ads are a common way to monetize video content. BuzzFeed also has a partnership with Netflix to create a range of feature-length documentaries that can be monetized.

Affiliate Marketing

BuzzFeed monetizes through affiliate marketing by creating a shopping section with links to eCommerce sites like Amazon, Walmart, and Hilton Hotels. Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways that BuzzFeed monetizes its platform, generating revenue through product sales that result from readers clicking on links on the site.

BuzzFeed earns a commission for every product purchased via the links.

Subscription Revenue

BuzzFeed News offers exclusive content to subscribers at $5 per month, which includes early access to long-form stories, as well as access to exclusive reports and interviews. Subscription revenue is one of the newer revenue streams for BuzzFeed, which is an attempt to increase its overall revenue diversification.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is an advertising format used by BuzzFeed that blends in with regular content. BuzzFeed partners with advertisers, such as Volkswagen, American Express and KFC, to create content that matches the publication’s voice and tone.

Native advertising is used to give advertisers a more organic presence on the platform without compromising the BuzzFeed audience’s integrity.

Digital and Physical Products

BuzzFeed has a line of kitchenware products under its TASTY brand, which includes cooking appliances, cookbooks, and food products. BuzzFeed has a partnership with Walmart, which is one of the most lucrative ways that it monetizes its platform.

The company has taken advantage of its audience’s size by creating physical products that directly speak to its users’ interests.

Podcast Advertising

BuzzFeed’s daily news podcast, News O’Clock, is sponsored and monetized through ad fees based on listener numbers. As BuzzFeed continues to expand its media presence, podcast advertising is sure to become a more integral part of its revenue mix.

Funding, Valuation and Revenue

Overview of Funding and Valuation

BuzzFeed’s success has been fueled by significant venture capital funding, including a Series G funding round that saw the company reach a valuation of $1.5 billion. NBCUniversal, General Atlantic, Andreessen Horowitz, Hearst Ventures, and RRE Ventures are some of the investors that have backed BuzzFeed’s growth.

Revenue Growth and Profitability

BuzzFeed’s annual revenues have grown over the years, but the company has yet to turn a profit. The company’s unprofitable status has been a concern for investors as the company moves to monetize through diverse revenue streams.

However, BuzzFeed has been able to meet the revenue and profit targets it set in 2020 as the company looks to continue diversifying its revenue streams while leveraging its massive audience.


BuzzFeed has become a dominant force in online media, and its success has been fueled by a range of monetization tactics, including advertising, affiliate marketing, and subscription-based revenue. The company’s unrelenting focus on measurement and data has helped it optimize its revenue streams.

The company’s funding history and its recent revenue growth bode well for BuzzFeed’s future as it expands its media empire. In summary, BuzzFeed is a media company known for its viral content that resonates with people across the globe.

The company has successfully monetized its expansive reach in different ways, including display advertising, video advertising, affiliate marketing, subscription revenue, native advertising, and digital and physical products. Despite being unprofitable for several years, BuzzFeed’s focus on data and growing revenue stream diversification has seen it meet its profit targets in 2020, indicating that the company’s future looks bright.

The success of BuzzFeed serves as an inspiration to those who wish to harness the power of the internet to create viral content.

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