Buzzfeed, Huffpost, Co Founder discussed on Recode Media with Peter Kafka


This is rick obedient. Peter kafka that is me. This is a special kind of emergency. Not really emergency edition of recook media. Because i'm interviewing jonah peretti who is the ceo. Buzzfeed is also the co founder of huffington post. Which is now health post which is now part of welcome john get to be here in california talking to me on zoom. So you've had a busy day. You announced You were acquiring huffpost. We can talk about the right verb you met with the huffpost staff. You met with the buzzfeed staff now. You're talking to me. What's what's the question between the buzzfeed staff and the huffpost staff. You've heard most often today I you know. I feel like there's a general feeling of excitement from everyone so far. Of course. I think it's more wanting to digest the news first and then. I think i'll get a lot more a lot more questions a so so far so far i think people are excited about. It was kind of a shocking morning. A for a lot of people. There's only a small team that knew about the deal. You're working on for a long time late into the night And you know just got it got it finished in the morning in time for the all hands some reading in the wall street journal this is actually one of these deals that came about it started at. Cas at the consumer electronics show So you've been working on this in some form or other since since january of this year. That's a long jesting deal. We we just had a regular business meeting at sea and in that meeting. I said you know you. What about huffington post. You know like you have huffpost. And i have of course. My personal connection is co founder and add some ideas about things we can do with it And that started the conversation. I had a connection with with guru rents rise in media. And so yes we are talking about it in a more casual way and then it it's sped up And here we are so. Was this something in january with you. Were thinking i would like to buy huffpost. I would like to bring that publication back or was it something else. Yeah i wrote unite. You know over a year ago. I wrote to to them. That was seen if it could be for sale and they told me it wasn't so i i sort of stayed at it and talk to them more and I think I think they like the idea of going back to a co founder and and the idea that we could do a commercial agreement and partner on some at innovation. Yahoo is really the only major platform where you can't get tasty content and can't get buzzfeed content so there was also a nice A benefit to doing deal where huffpost content and continue to spread across. Continue to be syndicated on yahoo soaking tasty buzzfeed news content so it expanded things for them and for for us so buzzes so verizon we can talk about some of the canucks but the big picture is verizon no longer has to operate or fund huffpost will get their content will get some buzzfeed content. It can it can spread around. Its its surface And you guys get what why. What is the appeal buying huffpost for you and twenty twenty. I love iconic brands that everyone knows so buzzfeed news tasty huffpost. Their internet content brands internet media rant. Everyone knows that have big audiences reach lots of people so lots of scale. I'm and all four of those brands have really loyal audiences who loves the mission of those services and so being able to bring together four of the most iconic internet media brands into one company felt really exciting to me. And they're the the other thing that appealed to me was that the brand and the audience and the scale was bigger than the business. And i think carter that. Is that verizon media so huge and they were very fond of have published by they also was very small compared to the billions of revenue. They do and so we can give it extra attention and if you look over. The last. Few years at the way buzzfeed is diversified revenue You know we've added in commerce. We've added you know donna. Deal with lionsgate to make films. We've figured out few different new forms of advertising from native programmatic creator driven advertising. So we can take all that work that we've done over the last few years and we extend it to to huffpost anything. Make this the size of the business start to match the size of the brand of the audience. So you said look. We're not we're not. Overlapping an audience. Here i think everyone who buys a internet company says they're not over overlapping. The audience seems really hard to believe with huffpost right. They've got a news thing they've got a culture thing. You guys have a news brand. You guys are a culture brand What am i missing. Why aren't these the same audience. I mean if you look at concert as you can see that. Overlap is not as much as you would expect. Now is the other thing that surprised me. I didn't have some nostalgic desire. To but i post i wasn't like oh i. You know my long plan when i left host was that i was gonna come back at. Oh new all that. that was not what drove. This is like we would sit down with our. We'd sit down with our team that was looking at at our competition and at potential deals. And we we do surveys data and outposts kept coming up as most recognized more recognized than really a lot of the competitors that were more buzzy in the in the trades of host was more well known and then had bigger audience and had an audience that was wealthier and not just old But but but all ages and buzzfeed really only has a young audience. We don't we don't really. Have you know the older more affluent audience at all and have it sort of all ages type brands that buying the buzzfeed audiences parents. Yeah also also the kids. I mean you know him. And the young people the youngsters So the the the terms of the deal that you announced this is an all stock. Deal doesn't always mean something but often means maybe not not as much value as as the seller thanks And then on top of that..

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