(Adds valuation, more info about expanded ad relationship)
Nov 21 Online media company BuzzFeed, best known
for its list-based articles and quizzes, said Comcast Corp's
NBCUniversal had invested an additional $200 million
in the company.
NBCU parent Comcast has pumped heavily into digital-native
companies such as BuzzFeed and Vox Media, partly in an effort to
better service existing advertisers. The new investment, which
gives BuzzFeed a valuation of around $1.7 billion, ups NBCU's
stake to $400 million, following an initial $200 million
investment last summer. NBCU also invested $200 million into Vox
NBCU will take a larger role in selling ads for BuzzFeed
with the ability to incorporate BuzzFeed's inventory into its
deals with advertisers; BuzzFeed will also have the same option
to sell space on NBCU's inventory to its advertisers.
Additionally, BuzzFeed's Swarm and NBCU's Symphony ad
products will be offered as one package to advertisers. Both
Swarm and Symphony allow advertisers to run campaigns
simultaneously across all of their respective properties.
In the past year, NBCU and BuzzFeed have collaborated on
several projects, most notably with the Rio Olympics, where
BuzzFeed produced the content for NBC Olympics' dedicated
Snapchat Discover channel. In February, the two teamed with
American Express to replace 30 minutes of national ad spots
during primetime on Feb. 29 with sponsored content that was tied
to NBC programming. BuzzFeed created content that was
distributed on social media as part of that deal.
BuzzFeed will also take a bigger role in NBCU's content
studio, which produces advertiser-friendly content that is
tailored to specific social media platforms, including creating
and distributing the content on social media.
BuzzFeed will put more money into its food-themed business,
Tasty, and beef up its digital video operations, which is
becoming more of an emphasis for the digital media company.
In August, BuzzFeed split itself into news and entertainment
divisions amid media companies' struggle for balance between
covering news and politics, and lighter fare like social media,
entertainment and lifestyle.
LionTree Advisors was BuzzFeed's financial adviser and
Fenwick & West LLP its legal adviser. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
was NBCUniversal's legal adviser.
(Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru and Tim Baysinger in
New York. Editing by Maju Samuel and Lisa Shumaker)