February 8, 2023

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BuzzFeed to get halfpost from Verizon Media

4 min read

Companies have announced that BuzzFeed is acquiring the 15-year-old Internet news outlet HuffPost, the companies announced.

The Halfpost purchase is part of a larger strategic partnership across content and advertising between Budgetfeed and Verizon, under which Verizon Media will participate in minority investments in Buzzfeed.

The terms of the contract were not disclosed. Verizon Media has been trying to offload Halfpost for more than a year and has been in talks with BuzzFeed for several months over a sale. The company did not say whether there would be any layoffs at the halfposts, subject to normal shutdown conditions. The acquisition of Halfpost is expected to close by 2020.

Jonah Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed, co-founder of Huffington Post with Ariana Huffington in 2005 and investor Ken Lair – will lead the combined BuzzFeed / HalfPost Group. Halfpost’s link is expected to encourage BuzzFeed’s monthly audience to reach 293%, 103 million unique monthly viewers, according to data from ComScore.

According to BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed News and HalfPost will operate as separate news agencies. EIC will begin looking for a new editor-in-chief at BuzzFeed Halfpost following the departure of Lydia Polgreen earlier this year to join Spotify’s Gimlet Podcast Studio.

Announcing the agreement, Verizon Media CEO Guru Gaurappan said, “Verizon Media’s strategy has evolved over the past two years to focus on our core strengths – advertising, commerce, content and subscriptions.” Accelerates development. “

In an interview with Different, Gaurappan said that Verizon Media has taken Halfpost to the forefront but he asserted that the BuzzFeed partnership would accelerate it. “The question is, how much more business can you do?” He said. “We wanted to make it instead of 3X [growth], Looking at 10X growth prospects and the BuzzFeed partnership designed to make that happen, “added Gaurappan, who was talking to Peretti about the Halfpost deal in early 2020.” We didn’t start this discussion by saying, There are. “

About a year ago, Gaurappan denied that Verizon Media wanted to sell Halfpost, saying at an industry conference, “That’s the key to our content … We’re focusing on creating good journalism and delivering valuable content to customers.”

“We are excited about Verizon Media and the mutual benefits for our mutual benefit, such as syndicating content across each other’s assets, collaborating and energizing the future of innovative advertising products and trade, and the creativity of Verizon Media Emersive,” Peretti said in a statement on Thursday.

AOL acquired HuffPost in 2010 for 31 5,315 million, before Verizon acquired a Ver in 2015 for Ver 4.4 billion. The name of the acquired site, Ariana Huffington, left the company in 2010 to form Thrive Global, a health startup.

Early in Halfpost’s life, critics complained about other news agencies’ reporting and aggregation of stories, as well as the practice of building networks of unpaid contributors. Halfpost will acquire a huge staff of original reporting journalists – winning a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for a series on injured seniors and their families – and in 2018 it discontinued the unpaid blogger program. Under Verizon Media, Halfpost has fought for profit.

As part of the agreement between Verizon Media and BuzzFeed, the companies have agreed to syndicate content on each of their respective platforms. Also, companies have stated that they will “explore exploration opportunities for monetization” and create joint “innovative groups” of emerging ad formats, including augmented reality (XR) and AR applications.

BuzzFeed will be able to tap on Verizon Media Emersive, referring to Telco as “the largest online XR platform for advertising and content.” Additionally, BuzzFeed will have access to Verizon Media’s advertising platform, which spans mobile, desktop, video, connected TV and other channels.

BuzzFeed, which says it has become overall profitable after several rounds of cutbacks and layoffs, including cuts and cuts during the COVID epidemic – looks like HuffPost is bringing a complementary audience to the company. Readers of Halfpost represent a wider and richer population than BuzzFeed, a source familiar with the companies said. BuzzFeed sees HuffPost as a trusted native digital brand that will allow BuzzFeed to expand its media network horizontally.

“I have fond memories of becoming a major newsletter in the early years of HuffPost, but BuzzFeed is making this acquisition because we believe in the future of HuffPost and the potential to define the media landscape over the next few years,” the statement said. “With the addition of HalfPost, we will have more users in our media network, spending significantly more time with our content than our counterparts.”

After folding HalfPost, BuzzFeed plans to work to diversify the revenue streams on the news site, such as through ecommerce integration, to ensure that it has a sustainable path. As part of this, BuzzFeed hopes to encourage a new relationship with Verizon Media to become a partner in advertising, content and product development.

The buzzfeed-halfpost combo came after a wave of digital media sector integration swept through last year, as companies sought strength in numbers amid a revenue crisis and fractional audiences. Among the M&A deals: Vice Media Group has launched Refinery 29K to reach out to more millennial women; While Vox Media acquired New York Media, it was one of several print-centric brands that landed new owners; And discovery-backed group Nine Media has bought women-centric popsugar.

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