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OMG! BuzzFeed Could Be Making TV Shows Soon

'In a different way,' though, CEO says

Can Jonah Peretti persaude users to watch a BuzzFeed TV series? Photo Illustration: Dianna McDougall; Source: Getty Images

And now, 10 reasons BuzzFeed could be working on a TV series ...

OK, there's just one reason, but it's a really good one: CEO Jonah Peretti just said so.

During a Visa-hosted talk at Cannes Lions, Peretti said the company is looking at ways to make BuzzFeed TV shows, according to The Wall Street Journal

"We want to do TV, but we want to do it in a different way," said Peretti. "We resisted for a long time."

While BuzzFeed initially thought it was not familiar enough with the format, it has changed its tune, perhaps as a result of its success in the video space

Now, the company is taking a serious look at how it could produce TV shows and movies, possibly testing ideas on Facebook or YouTube first.

"If you could figure out a way to say people are really connecting," Peretti said, "why can't you make a TV show that's informed by that?"

While more and more outlets are trying to get into the original content business—everyone from Yahoo to PlayStation—BuzzFeed and its global audience of more than 200 million could be uniquely positioned for success in the more traditional format. 

Peretti might have a bit of a learning curve to contend with since he's not a TV fan. Earlier this month, speaking at Re/code's Code conference, Peretti admitted, "I don't really watch television. Most of the people or a lot of people who read BuzzFeed don't watch television that much."

Such comments indicate that Peretti and BuzzFeed aren't necessarily as wedded to the traditional TV or film format as he led Cannes Lions attendees to believe. Television, he said, "is not the end product. It's a process for making media, and the form that it takes could be something that looks like a television show. It could be that you're watching things that are eight minutes long, or six minutes long, or lots of short-form content. It could be that you're consuming the media on Snapchat or Spotify or Netflix or Amazon Prime or CBS."

Peretti continued, "And so we're focused right now on building the machine that allows us to learn and to make great content and to give creative people real data feedback. Where that's going to be extended is, I think, an exciting opportunity for us, but it's not like our dream is to make a TV show, or our dream is to make a movie."

 

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