BuzzFeed just raised $50 Million from some very smart investors. Andreessen Horowitz - the VC firm - sees them becoming a "preeminent media company." Congrats to them - that's fifty million votes of confidence from perhaps the leading venture firm of the day.
The first item in the list of planned investments?
"In an interview with Fortune, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said he believes the video business could become as big or bigger than BuzzFeed.com. “Video is a huge, mega-trend, and the fact that it’s being viewed on mobile at such a high rate and being shared at a high rate aligns all these things together,” he said. “Digital, video, mobile and social can all be the exact same thing: someone sharing a video they love that they viewed on their mobile device.”
These guys make a lot of video. According to the article linked above, they've produced some 1,800 videos with a total of 1.7 billion YouTube views. 100 employees, 20,000 square feet of studio space. Zowie. We're only at 500 videos but we'll keep working at it.
A couple more snippets worth noting. "We never expected people would watch video on their phones, but now we’re seeing like half of our views are mobile." And "We are still in a position where YouTube is the majority, but that ratio has been declining over time. "
And this one - my personal favorite.
"Q: Would you prefer to own the distribution rather than outsource it?
There are definitely advantages to owning distribution pipes, but I don’t tend to think of the advantages in the same way that I think traditional folks think about it. The idea is not a monopolistic intention. Those days are gone. But owned distribution means you can get a lot more data. "
Wow. Thanks. That's exactly why we combine content and hosting in one service.
I'm delighted for the BuzzFeed guys. We aren't aiming to do what they do, but it's great to see someone make a $50M bet on video.