buzzfeed Business Model – How does buzzfeed make money

Media has changed drastically in the last few decades. Before that the most popular form of media was print. Any information related to any topic whether it is politics, sports, entertainment, or other information was provided through newspapers and magazines. It took decades for Television to overtake print media. But the arrival of the internet has completely changed that. Well, not immediately as it was not available at the speed and scale it is available in the current world. As the internet became more and more accessible people started using it to gather the information they needed. In the last two decades, the internet has reached almost every part of the world and people could get any kind of information they needed. A decade ago not that many people were using it because of two reasons either it was not available or it was too costly. This is not the case in today’s world.

Even you are reading this article on the internet. That’s how much it has grown. People love the idea of getting anything online. This is great because it is actually the most effective way to get information in current times. TV, radio, and newspapers cannot provide you with information about everything. The other thing about them is that the sources on these types of media are limited. But if you just search for something on the internet you will find thousands of results that are relevant to that search. Because of the reach of the internet lot of media platforms have emerged over the years. All of them had a platform where they can create or show content that they are interested in. You can find a lot of channels and websites on the internet that cover all kinds of stuff. Today’s article is about one such media company called BuzzFeed.

What is BuzzFeed and how it all started?

Most of the people who use YouTube know about this media company. If you are someone who is an active user of YouTube then you must have come across one of their videos. But for those of you who don’t know BuzzFeed is an international media company. It was founded by Jonah Peretti in the year 2006 in America. Peretti is also the current CEO of the company. Jonah Peretti was a director in Eyebeam when was pursuing his masters at MIT. When he found that Nike launched a service that allowed people to customize their shoes he came up with the idea of sweatshops. But this was rejected by Nike. After that, he shared this with his friends, and soon after that, it reached millions of people. When he appeared in an interview on NBC he understood how someone like could reach millions of people.

After that, he joined hands with Ariana Huffington and Ken Lerer and found Huffpost in the year 2005. While he was doing that he also started BuzzFeed as a side project. Buzzfeed was a part of HuffPost until 2008. By that time the media company already had millions of people visiting it every month. Because of this Jonah Peretti had to shift his complete focus on BuzzFeed. Buzzfeed was very good at using data science to find out what are the stories available that are more likely to get viral. Another reason why BuzzFeed has been successful in reaching out to people is its ability to adapt to technology. It was one of the first media companies to share their content using Facebook and Snapchat. As of today the company has offices in 12 countries and creates viral content in different languages. Every month more than one million people visit the BuzzFeed website. 

Business model of BuzzFeed

Buzzfeed is not a media company that is dependent on television. It is completely dependent on the internet. So it has to take care that it is relevant to the people who are using it. To do this it has to focus on or create its own niche. It has to make sure that it is constantly putting out viral content and gaining followers. By the looks of it BuzzFeed has been successful in doing that. So let’s take a look at the things that are the major pillars of its business model. 

Type of content

If you are someone who is looking for some serious stuff then BuzzFeed is definitely not for you. BuzzFeed News is an exception to all the other types of content it creates. All of the videos of BuzzFeed are just fun and simple videos. You can just find short and sweet videos about everyday things or new trends. It is a great way for the normal audience to gain information about some things they don’t while being entertained at the same time. They don’t create content that you actively search for. All of their content is content that you can read or see anywhere or anytime if you just want to pass time without getting burdened by complex information. The content created by BuzzFeed can be viewed by anyone. Most of their monthly visitors are youth. Another great thing about them is that they are now creating content in different languages.

Key partners

Buzzfeed partners with a lot of organizations and companies. This helps them in earning money as well as create the content they publish. These partners include supplier and services partners who provide them with technology, tools, and services that help them in creating their content. It also partners with other online media outlets that share the content of BuzzFeed through their platforms. There are advertising partners who help BuzzFeed that provide content to BuzzFeed that they can publish. Apart from this the company also collaborates with other content creators to create content. Buzzfeed also has big companies like Amazon, Tencent, and Yahoo as its syndication partners. 


All of its activities can be found on its website. Anyone can access all the content of BuzzFeed through this website for free. You can access this site using a desktop or your mobile device. Most of the traffic it receives is through mobile users. You can also access various types of content it provides by downloading different applications. One can download applications like the BuzzFeed app, BuzzFeed News, BuzzFeed video, Cute, or QuickChat. It also has several channels on YouTube each providing different types of content. Not only that but BuzzFeed also reaches many people using various social media platforms. 

How does Buzzfeed make money?

If you know anything about how modern media companies make money then you will know that they have plenty of ways in which they can make money. Buzzfeed is no different from it has a number of revenue streams each of which accounts for a different percentage of its total revenue. Let’s take a look at the ways in which it makes money.

Video advertisements

This is not so surprising as it has more than 20 million subscribers on its YouTube channels. With so many millions of people watching its content it has every reason to monetize its videos. Not only on YouTube it does this also on Facebook. You must have observed that you will see an ad play before or during the time you are watching a video. These ads pay a certain amount of money to BuzzFeed so they include their ads. Apart from this BuzzFeed also partnered with movie streaming platform Netflix to create a new documentary series. 

Affiliate marketing 

With its massive reach, BuzzFeed offers a lot of companies an opportunity to reach potential customers. Through BuzzFeed, a lot of people can know about products or services that they never heard of before. Buzzfeed promotes a lot of products from its advertisers. It receives a commission when a user buys a product using the affiliate link.


If you visit any website you might have noticed that there will be advertisements displayed on the corners or in the middle of the content.  These are the banners of advertisers. They use them to promote their products or services on BuzzFeed’s website. Whenever someone clicks on the banner and buys a product or avails services BuzzFeed receives a commission. 

Selling their own products

Apart from selling and promoting products of other companies, BuzzFeed also sells their own products. Buzzfeed sells most of its products under the name of Tasty which is its cooking channel.  It sells products like seasonings, appliances, cookbooks, and other food-related products. 


This is the business model of BuzzFeed. It earns money using various channels that provide different types of content. You can learn about other interesting business models on Zeen like the business model of Coinbase.

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