You can forgive yourself for writing off Buzzfeed’s content as uneven at best, what with coverage from the flames of Ferguson sharing close quarters on its homepage this morning with Baby Alia and her best friend Daisy the sloth. At least Buzzfeed is covering some real news, and reporting on it it quite well, with live updates throughout the night from Buzzfeed reporters on the ground in Ferguson. There’s also their recent, doozy-of-an Uber exec scoop. Both good signs that young folk, despite ‘conventional wisdom’, don’t exclusively obsess on french poodle GIFs and listicles. The Buzzfeed staff know this , because their user analytics play a big role in Ferguson coverage occupying the top slot right now, if not 15 minutes from now.
Maybe Buzzfeed covers real news now more than I give them credit for. I only really drop in to the site occasionally to try and
steal glean a bit of youthful zeitgeist, mostly for my job. Yet only after reading this Business Insider article on Buzzfeed’s release of its latest user numbers did I appreciate Buzzfeed’s potential to shape the future of content consumption, and the economic implications therein. Not surprisingly, Buzzfeed’s monthly millennial reach (again, caveat, according to Buzzfeed) easily outstrips traditional media, such as FOX, CBS and MTV. What’s more interesting, is its out-of-the-gates success in original video content via Buzzfeed Motion Pictures, with average monthly video views growing to whopping 500,000,000 in a year with help from syndication on the usual suspects, including Facebook and YouTube. Further, half of its users watch Buzzfeed’s ad-supported video content on mobile devices, with video views peaking in the evening, aka, traditional TV viewing hours, aka prime TV advertising hours.
Of course it’s in Buzzfeed’s interest to paint a picture of a future media universe with them at the centre. Millennials still likely watch their fair share of TV, but it does seem to ring true that a lot of them are probably doing it while keeping an eye on their phone, on sites like Buzzfeed, especially during TV ad breaks, enjoying Buzzfeed content supported by Buzzfeed’s display and video ads, instead of that 30-second spot on the boob tube. More at Business Insider.