NBCUniversal Invests $200 Million in BuzzFeed

Stephen Burke - H 2015

Stephen Burke - H 2015

The companies plan to collaborate on "television content, movies, the Olympics and joint partnerships with ad agencies and brands."

NBCUniversal has agreed to make a $200 million equity investment in BuzzFeed, the online media company that says it reaches more than 200 million monthly unique visitors and 1.5 billion monthly video views.

The deal, which had been rumored and was announced on Tuesday, comes after a similar $200 million investment in Vox Media, known for running sports and technology news web sites.

"BuzzFeed has built an exceptional global company that harmonizes technology, data and superior editorial abilities to create and share content in innovative ways,” said NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke. "They reach a massive, loyal audience and have proven to be among the most creative, popular and influential new media players. We are pleased to be making this investment and for our companies to partner and work together."

"It's a fascinating time for the media industry; social, mobile, digital, and broadcast platforms are converging to create new opportunities to connect with global audiences, and we're excited to partner with NBCUniversal to combine our respective strengths to build the future of news and entertainment," said BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti.

As part of the investment, the companies said they would "also explore strategic partnerships across both organizations in the coming months."

Late last month, there was first chatter that Comcast-owned NBCUniversal was closing in on an investment of around $250 million in BuzzFeed and the Vox Media deal as the company looks to expand its reach in digital media amid changing media usage habits.

"BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal will be great strategic partners, and we both have a lot to offer the other," said Kenneth Lerer, BuzzFeed’s executive chairman. "We look forward to collaborating on television content, movies, the Olympics and joint partnerships with ad agencies and brands."

Peretti in a blog post added more thoughts on the deal. "NBCU is the home of the Today show, Jurassic World, Minions, the Olympics, Jimmy Fallon and much more, and we are looking forward to collaborating with them on projects we’d never be able to do on our own," he wrote.

"The investment from NBCU and our rapidly growing revenue assures our financial independence, allowing us to grow and invest without pressure to chase short-term revenue or rush an IPO," he added. "Our independence and a long-term focus align us with our readers and viewers and help us deliver the best possible service for our audience."