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NBCUniversal is investing additional $200 million in BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed
With the latest investment, BuzzFeed now has a valuation of about $1.7 billion.
(Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

NBCUniversal is doubling down on BuzzFeed.

The entertainment conglomerate owned by Comcast Corp. is investing an additional $200 million in the millennial-focused media company, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The investment, first reported by Recode, comes more than a year after NBCUniversal’s initial investment of $200 million in BuzzFeed, which now has a valuation of about $1.7 billion.

“We have a great relationship with NBCU. We’re always talking about broadening the relationship as part of our plan to grow as an independent company,” said Carole Robinson, a spokeswoman for BuzzFeed.

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NBCUniversal did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

BuzzFeed commands a vast audience, especially on Facebook, and boasts an in-house advertising agency that creates branded content. However, the company reportedly missed revenue targets last year.

As a result, the company cut its revenue projections for 2016 and remains on track to meet that target, a source told the Wall Street Journal.

Though headquartered in New York, BuzzFeed has placed a greater emphasis on its video operations in Hollywood. Video is counted on to provide the lion’s share of revenue moving forward.

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NBCUniversal is looking to reach a younger audience that gets its news and entertainment online and on smartphones. The media giant also invested $200 million in Vox Media last year.

NBCUniversal’s most popular shows, such as its morning show “Today” and its programs on its cable channels E! and Bravo, increasingly attract viewers in their 30s and 40s and even older.

Despite the buzz over digital media in recent years, properties such as Mashable and Salon have reduced their staff and cut budgets.

Those sites don’t have the audience of BuzzFeed, however, which made a name for itself with its highly shareable listicles, but has branched out to develop a closely watched news division.

david.pierson@latimes.com

Follow me @dhpierson on Twitter

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