BuzzFeed is getting more serious about monetization with the hiring of Tessa Gould, the former head of native advertising at The Huffington Post.
BuzzFeed has been relying on sponsored content to pay the bills and attract investors. After hiring Gould, the company hopes its wildly successful formula of original video content mixed with off-the-wall news stories, gossip, quizzes and lists will pay off even more as it expands into new types of advertising.
The social news site has already raised about $100 million in funding and has expanded its staff and news coverage. Now comes the tough part—turning millions of visitors into buyers.
Gould will assume the title of vp, ad innovation and monetization, a formidable way of saying she'll find new ways to make money off content. Gould has the pedigree to do it, too.
While at the Huffington Post, Gould led all aspects of the site's native ads, including product strategy, pricing, packaging, marketing and monetization. She also ran the HuffPost Partner Studio, the in-house creative agency she launched early last year.
"Like many in the industry I have been particularly impressed by BuzzFeed's unprecedented success in shaping the social advertising space, and doing so at mass scale. I am thrilled to be joining a highly talented team at such an exciting moment in time as they transition from a social advertising player and pop-culture staple to a global media brand," she said in a statement.
Tessa graduated from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, with degrees in law and business. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and adopted dog Lola, who may or may not become a BuzzFeed story.