Render Media Shutters After Facebook's Algorithm Changes

Digital publisher Render Media is the most recent victim of Facebook’s algorithm changes.

The owner of recipe video publisher Cooking Panda and news and politics site Opposing Views is shutting down, blaming changes on Facebook’s branded content guidelines as a reason for its shuttering, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

Other casualties of Facebook’s changes for publishers include women's-lifestyle site Little Things (which reported Facebook's news feed change had caused its traffic to plummet by 75%) and conservative site Rare.

Millennial-focused publisher Thought Catalogannounced this month that it had laid off a handful of staffers following Facebook’s recent algorithm tweaks, as well.

“The combined impact of several recent events have severely restricted Render’s cash flow and its ability to sustain its business,” Render Media wrote in the note to clients. “We are working with our lender as we attempt to wind down Render’s operations. We are aware that we have outstanding amounts owed to you, and we working to maximize the remaining value of the business.”

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles-based company told the WSJ that Facebook’s recent news feed algorithm change contributed to the decision to shut down the company, but was not the only factor. In September, Render Media CEO Vic Belonogoff said 20% of the company’s business came from branded content.

Render Media has collaborated and created video content for brands such as Bumble Bee Seafoods and Dunkin Donuts. Render Media was operating with less than 50 employees at the time and was planning to expand into OTT programming. 

Last August, Render Media started distributing its content on Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Apple TV and Samsung TV. It was planning to launch 15 different original shows this year.

The company stated to the WSJ that "a final date for the wind-down has not been set. We expect the properties will continue." It  did not give many details on whether it would sell its brands.

In 2016, Render Media was named the second-fastest-growing media company in America by Inc. But in February, the company’s sites drew 8.1 million unique viewers, a 68% decrease compared to the same month a year ago, according to comScore data cited by WSJ.

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