BuzzFeed-HuffPost deal unites two online media path-breakers

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The US-based internet media, news and entertainment company, BuzzFeed is all set to acquire regional online news provider and blog brand HuffPost which is expected to unite two digital media pioneers looking for the much-needed impetus to the future. 

The transaction will not only allow BuzzFeed to take over HuffPost from its parent firm Verizon Media but also facilitate a content-sharing arrangement where the internet media firm could use content from other Verizon subsidiaries such as Yahoo.

Verizon Media, a subsidiary of US-based telecommunications conglomerate Verizon will become a minority shareholder in BuzzFeed and will also engage with BuzzFeed in a strategic partnership for content and advertising.

“We’re excited about our partnership with Verizon Media, and mutual benefits that will come from syndicating content across each other’s properties, collaborating on innovative ad products and the future of commerce, and tapping into the strength and creativity of Verizon Media Immersive,” BuzzFeed’s CEO Jonah Peretti remarked.

“I have vivid memories of growing HuffPost into a major news outlet in its early years, but BuzzFeed is making this acquisition because we believe in the future of HuffPost and the potential it has to continue to define the media landscape for years to come, Mr. Peretti added.

The early success of HuffPost and BuzzFeed, digital-first media path-breakers had inspired optimism about the sector, but in recent years both have faced struggles in a difficult economic environment for the segment.

“We want HuffPost to be more HuffPosty, and BuzzFeed to be more BuzzFeedy — there’s not much audience overlap,” the BuzzFeed CEO observed.

Commenting on the partnership with BuzzFeed, Verizon CEO Guru Gowrappan stated that “Verizon Media’s strategy has evolved over the past two years to focus on our core strengths — ads, commerce, content and subscriptions. The partnership with BuzzFeed complements our road map while also accelerating our transformation and growth.”