Buzzfeed Misses Revenue Target By $123 Million
Before it IPO’d last year BuzzFeed told potential investors revenue in 2021 would reach $521 million and $1.1 billion by 2024, as a result of their “rapid scale and monetisation with a deep understanding of virality and social”. 2021 revenue actually came in at just $398 million in its first annual results as a public company. The combination of Buzzfeed with HuffPost and Complex Networks missed its promised revenue target by $123 million.
Mark Schoofs, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed’s news division, is leaving the company, as our two other news editors, ahead of the firm offering voluntary redundancies to “accelerate the timeline to profitability … That will require BuzzFeed News to once again shrink in size”. Schoofs said in an internal memo that there would be a “shift in editorial focus and structure”. The fact is, he admitted, “The company has subsidized BuzzFeed News for many years”. News just doesn’t have the same appeal as Buzzfeed’s youth-focused woke popular culture content.
Buzzfeed also had a credibility problem trying to do serious news. Titles that run articles about pizzas that look like labias can of course do serious news, consumers however get confused as to the woke news brand’s values. Advertisers too want clear categories. Buzzfeed News was trying a begging model to pay its way. That clearly isn’t working… BuzzFeed posted a net loss of $528,000 for the year.
See also: Why BuzzFeed Doesn’t Make Money