BuzzFeed and CNN are teaming up for a YouTube channel that will bring serious news to social media—or, if you would prefer, bring BuzzFeed's knowledge of the 18-34 demographic to the rolling news brand. CNN BuzzFeed, which launches today, will host reports containing both archival and current CNN footage designed to be shared on social media.
The new channel will use a mashup video format alongside BuzzFeed's well-known photo and text combos that sit so well with social media users. There are no advertising partners as yet, despite BuzzFeed having launched its own ad network in March 2013. BuzzFeed's president and COO Jon Steinberg said an ad-free launch would make the YouTube channel "more agile." He also outlined his firm's investment in the project: a low "eight-digit sum."
All of this is not to say that CNN isn't doing well on the Internet—its digital audience was one of the highest in 2012, but the network probably realizes it needs to tap into a younger audience, an art that BuzzFeed has mastered. Kenneth Estenson, senior VP for CNN Digital said as much in a statement, claiming the partnership "will enable both organizations to engage new audiences."