NBCUniversal in Talks to Invest in BuzzFeed
The Comcast-owned media company is also exploring increasing its stake in Vox Media.
NBCUniversal is getting closer to investing in BuzzFeed and Vox Media.
The deals are not yet done, but negotiations are progressing, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Tech news website Re/Code reported Thursday morning that the Comcast-owned media company is closing in on a $250 million investment in BuzzFeed that would value the publisher at $1.5 billion. NBCU is also exploring a separate investment into Vox Media that would value the tech and lifestyle news network at $850 million.
NBCU and Vox declined to comment. A rep for BuzzFeed did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The news comes a week after The Wall Street Journal reported that NBCU was exploring growing its investment portfolio with a number of digital media companies, including Vice and Business Insider.
The increased focus on the digital landscape is part of NBCU's effort to reach a young generation of audiences who are more likely to watch a video clip on their phones than on a television.
BuzzFeed, the fast-growing social news organization founded by Jonah Peretti, raised $50 million in 2014 from investors that included Andreessen Horowitz, bringing its total investment to nearly $100 million. The company has made a significant effort to expand into video over the last year, creating Los Angeles-based unit BuzzFeed Motion Pictures to create clips that could go viral on social media sites like Facebook and incubating ideas for longer-form projects.
Vox Media, which owns a growing portfolio of online news brands including Re/Code, raised $46.5 million in 2014 and already counts Comcast (through its venture arm) as an investor.
In recent years, it's become trendy for traditional media companies to invest in or acquire these fast-growing digital media brands. Disney acquired YouTube network Maker Studios in 2014 for $500 million plus performance incentives. Meanwhile, A+E Television Networks and 21st Century Fox have placed bets on Vice Media, the alternative media organization run by Shane Smith.