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Is BuzzFeed Planning An IPO?

According to CEO Jonah Peretti, the social-powered media machine is positioning itself to go public, but might just stay independent anyhow.

Is BuzzFeed Planning An IPO?
[Photo: Flickr user TechCrunch]

If you thought BuzzFeed was bound to get acquired by some giant, think again: The media machine is preparing to go public — or at least remain independent — according to Re/code.

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BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti declined to hint at a timeline for going public, but at the Code Conference today, Peretti said the company is fine-tuning its business in ways that would prepare it for an IPO.

According to Re/code:

“We’re very focused on building out internationally, we’re very focused on building out across multiple different platforms, we’re very focused on building out our video business,” Peretti said at Code Conference Wednesday morning. “That will give us a diversification… to allow us to build a big independent company with much more predictability and things that would allow us to be a public company or an independent stand alone company.”

The media brand known for its experiments with native advertising has also placed a higher focus on video in recent years, potentially helping to bolster its monetization scheme with ad rates higher than traditional pageviews (and likely making itself an easier sell to investors). But as successful has BuzzFeed has been at cracking the code of social-powered viral content, it’s still in the tricky business of publishing. The more it can do to bolster its revenue streams (with more lucrative video ads, for instance), the better. The company was reportedly supposed to be a part of the initial round of partners for Snapchat’s Discover tab, but talks fell through. Peretti is still eyeing a partnership with Snapchat, according to Re/code.

BuzzFeed has turned itself into a major player in media, in large part by keeping an obsessive eye on the metrics of publishing. Publisher Dao Nguyen, one of Fast Company‘s Most Creative People for 2015, made her way through the ranks at BuzzFeed by watching the data and using it to make key strategic decisions about how BuzzFeed publishes content, often resulting in huge traffic gains. It’s things like that that will come in handy if and when BuzzFeed decides it’s ready to face the scrutiny of the stock market.

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About the author

John Paul Titlow is a writer at Fast Company focused on music and technology, among other things. Find me here: Twitter: @johnpaul Instagram: @feralcatcolonist

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