Following its completion of a recent Series E financing of US$50 million, BuzzFeed is looking to make a big push into viral video content.
Reported on FT, Greg Coleman, freshly appointed president, said that there is a “decent chance” Buzzfeed’s video business will be “much larger” than its website business. Just last month, global news also reported that iconic Hollywood producer Michael Shamberg, the brains behind hit movie Pulp Fiction, came on board the BuzzFeed team to advise its newly created BuzzFeed Motion Pictures unit.
In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Shamberg said what attracted him to Buzzfeed was the avenue to experiment with the content.
Buzzfeed’s Ze Frank who leads the video production arm also said during the interview that the budgets for the projects are mostly based on individual business models and added that Buzzfeed believes it “can help make some gains in bringing the overall cost down in development and in distribution” because it has a massive distribution.
Christopher Smith, who leads Mindshare Discovery, Mindshare’s content creation arm, said that the move to video content creation is really a no brainer for publishers such as Buzzfeed as studies continue to show that short form video is the way that audiences love to consume content.
“Most of the brands that we work with have already recognised this and the more adaptive brands have already made the move toward becoming content creators as well as publishers. On the other side of the fence, publishers are responding by becoming content creators,” said Smith.
Smith added that the barriers of entry to becoming a video content creator have started to fall. The combination of easy to use, leading edge software and hardware gives publisher like Buzzfeed a clear agenda of attracting more viewers and increasing their time on page metrics.
Derek Tan, executive director, Social Media for Rally World Wide, IPG Mediabrands added that video is the current X factor that rides on the tsunami of new mobile and data surge in the emerging markets.
“Video is the predominant space of creative output for the last three years and as consumption levels increase, so do the investments and quality of content empowered by the liberalisation and democratisation of information. The pure shareability and likability of life as we see it in different forms of emotions and stories are the pillars that will sustain and attract storytelling for years ahead.”
He added that what is critical is diversifying the content as well as creating new revenue streams that do not fatigue viewers.