The Global Media Weekly for executives and entrepreneurs

BuzzFeed profits from ads boom

BuzzFeed broke through into profit with EBITDA of $5.5m in the second quarter of 2021, compared with a loss of $1.38m a year earlier. Revenue grew 51% to $89m, principally through advertising and higher programmatic prices.

While BuzzFeed has been trying to reduce its dependence on advertising, it remains the company’s biggest business. For the second quarter, ads totalled $47.8m – 79% up on the corresponding period in 2020. Although e-commerce revenue is less important, it increased by 82% to $17m.

CEO Jonah Peretti said the result “lays the foundation for what we expect to be an exciting second half”, adding that BuzzFeed’s “data-informed approach to content creation and capital allocation allows us to capitalise on secular trends in advertising and commerce”. 

Meanwhile, Complex Networks – which BuzzFeed is expected to acquire as part of an IPO merger with the 890 Fifth Avenue Partners SPAC – suffered a 5% fall in revenue for the quarter. Complex is a digital-publisher known for its coverage of streetwear and the “Hot Ones” celebrity interview series.

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