Enticed by higher ad rates and better viewer engagement, BuzzFeed is taking its video strategy to the next level.
Known for its curious mix of hard news and inane “list posts” (like “The 21 Sexiest Bitches On The Internet,” featuring pictures of dogs in lingerie), BuzzFeed is launching a social video studio and partnering with CNN on a new YouTube channel.
“It’s the perfect modern-day media collaboration,” KC Estenson, senior vice president of CNN Digital, said of the tie-up.
Led by Ze Frank, famed video blogger and BuzzFeed’s executive vice president of video, the publisher’s video team plans to rely heavily on social and mobile integration to get viewers’ attention.
“Over 70% of BuzzFeed’s traffic is social [and] almost half is mobile,” according to Jon Steinberg, BuzzFeed's president and COO. “We are seeing these huge shifts earlier than others because the majority of our readers are 18-34.”
With CNN, BuzzFeed is launching the “CNN BuzzFeed” channel on YouTube. Using CNN’s current and archival video footage, BuzzFeed editors will create “mash-up news videos” designed to encourage social sharing. Per the deal, the content will appear on both CNN.com and the CNN/BuzzFeed YouTube channel.
In addition, the publishers are expected to collaborate on original “list posts,” which combine CNN’s journalistic expertise with BuzzFeed’s offbeat editorial voice.
Production will be headquartered in a newly constructed social video studio in Los Angeles. The video team is expected to grow to over 30 people in the coming months, according to BuzzFeed.
Goging forward, BuzzFeed Video will have prominent placement on the BuzzFeed home page, the company said on Monday. Expansion plans include creating new channels and recreating sharable video news formats.
Since September, BuzzFeed has racked up over 170 million views on YouTube and more than 500 million total views.
Among its successes, 48 videos have attracted over 1 million views, including "The Angriest Babies In The Whole World," "What 2000 Calories Looks Like" and "True Facts About The Angler Fish.”