'BuzzFeed' Partners With Hilton To Expand Affiliate Business

BuzzFeed is partnering with Hilton to combine content from its travel brand BringMe with the hotel chain’s planning and booking tools for vacations, expanding the digital publisher’s affiliate business.

Hilton is now the exclusive global hotel partner and official title sponsor of BringMe.

The partnership includes an affiliate program that directs readers to Hilton promotions in relevant BringMe content on destinations, travel activities and city journey guides. 

“Today’s consumers are rapidly evolving their content consumption habits. Getting the right message in front of the right customer at the right time requires innovation and agility,” stated Kellyn Kenny, Hilton’s Chief Marketing Officer. 



BringMe, which launched in 2018 and has an average of 4 million views per video, will get a cut from its readers' Hilton bookings.

The partnership also includes native and experiential ads.

In 2019, BuzzFeed drove more than $425 million in directly attributable transactions, according to Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed’s CEO and founder. Some 21% of BuzzFeed’s revenue came from commerce in 2019, up from 9% in 2017.

Nearly 70% of weekly users say BuzzFeed content helps inspire them to make purchase decisions, according to the publisher.

BuzzFeed has had success with expanding its cooking and recipe brand Tasty into a commerce business, partnering with brands like Walmart to drive readers to buy groceries from the store directly through its own app, as well as produce Tasty-licensed products like stove-tops and cooking utensils.

Now, BuzzFeed is turning its attention to the travel vertical.

“Partnering with Hilton brings us even closer to our audience, and also makes it easier for them to make travel plans by booking directly. Through our shared consumer-first approach, we’re able to provide utility for our audience in a new way,” stated Peretti.

In a post outlining BuzzFeed's goals for 2020, Peretti described the "attribution problem," in which Google and other "middlemen" “end up capturing value they didn’t create.” 

"Content creators provide the inspiration to buy a new product, go on a vacation, or watch a new show — but don’t capture much of the economic value created,” he wrote.

“We see a real opportunity for us to reclaim some of that profit."

A consumer may watch a BringMe video and get inspired to travel to Dallas, for example, and head to Google to search “Dallas vacation” and click on the highest paid link from an online travel agency.

Now, BuzzFeed says its content can create the inspiration to travel, and connect the consumer directly to the transaction (through partnerships like this one with Hilton), and capture that revenue.

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