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CNN is partnering with BuzzFeed and YouTube to launch a new YouTube channel that takes advantage of CNN’s current and archival video, as well as Buzzfeed’s skill at weaving social content. The partnership is entirely digital, with videos available on YouTube, BuzzFeed and CNN.com (watch the first video below).
For CNN, the partnership gives the channel a chance to monetize archive content. Every TV news organization has a massive library of video, but much of it sits on servers unused. Finding a way to pluck some of this video and bring it back to the forefront in a way that could be monetizable is something that every channel has been looking into.
For BuzzFeed, the deal provides a wealth of video content, just waiting top be uncovered and edited down to brief, bite-sized chunks ready for social sharing.
Advertisers pay BuzzFeed to create and host branded content designed to be shared over social-network sites like Facebook and Twitter, rather than relying on traditional banner ads.
In this case, though, the new channel is being launched without the support of advertising partners.
“The more agile way to do it is to launch without letting advertising products dictate editorial content,” Mr. Steinberg said,
BuzzFeed To Aggressively Expand Video Operation In Partnership With YouTube
BuzzFeed And CNN Launch “CNN BuzzFeed” News Video Channel for Millennials
BuzzFeed To Build Social Video Studio In Los Angeles
New York, NY – MAY 28, 2013 – Today, BuzzFeed announced plans to invest in and expand its video operations and build a social video studio, designed to create news and entertainment video content exclusively for YouTube. Led by Ze Frank, web video pioneer and BuzzFeed’s Executive Vice President of Video, the video team will apply the same types of strategies that have made BuzzFeed a hub for some of the internet’s most viral content to create shareable, emotionally compelling video content for a highly-mobile, video-driven generation.
“There has been a massive cultural shift in how people – particularly young people – consume news and entertainment and Ze and his team are tapping into the next generation of video production and consumption. Over 70% of BuzzFeed’s traffic is social, almost half is mobile, and we are seeing these huge shifts earlier than others because the majority of our readers are 18-34. We are thrilled to partner with YouTube to bring a new generation of video content to a BuzzFeed audience that lives on social media and mobile phones,” said Jon Steinberg, BuzzFeed’s President & COO.
“BuzzFeed has built a remarkably engaged audience and their YouTube channels are a testament to their understanding of news and entertainment. They have a very special way of telling a story,” said Jed Simmons, YouTube’s Director and Global Head of News Content Partnerships. “BuzzFeed’s decision to double down on their YouTube channels is incredibly exciting and we look forward to continuing to work together and helping them grown.”
As part of its expansion initiative, BuzzFeed has partnered with CNN to launch the “CNN BuzzFeed” channel on YouTube. Powered by CNN’s current and archival video footage, BuzzFeed will create unique mash-up news videos tailored for the social web. The content will appear on both CNN.com and the CNN/BuzzFeed YouTube channel. In addition, the two organizations will collaborate on original list posts that combine the strength of CNN’s newsgathering and BuzzFeed’s signature voice. The lists will be published to CNN.com starting today.
“By pairing the journalistic strength and reach of the CNN brand with BuzzFeed’s unique editorial approach and young audience, our partnership will enable both organizations to engage new audiences,” said KC Estenson, SVP CNN Digital. “It’s the perfect modern day media collaboration.”
“From web video’s infancy to a massive shift to mobile video viewing, the community and ecosystem of YouTube is at the heart of the social web. BuzzFeed’s massive audience is hungry for new, interesting video formats, YouTube gets that better than anyone and we’re elated to be working with them,” said Ze Frank, BuzzFeed’s EVP of Video. “CNN.com is one of the biggest, strongest news sites in the world. We are thrilled to work with their talented team and to tap into their incredible archive of footage as we try to crack original news video for the social web.”
Production will be headquartered in a newly constructed social video studio in Los Angeles which will have a coffee shop and store where influencers, thinkers and celebrities will be able create informal videos made for the social web. The team will grow to over 30 people in the coming months. BuzzFeed Video will have a dedicated, prominent placement on the BuzzFeed homepage that will bring new forms of social content to the site’s 60MM unique visitors. Expansion plans include creating new channels, including recreating a video news format that is shareable.
Since September, over 400 years of BuzzFeed video has been watched on YouTube with over 170M views over 500 total videos. Forty-eight videos have gotten over one million views including “The Angriest Babies In The Whole World,” “What 2000 Calories Looks Like” and “True Facts About The Angler Fish,” a part of the popular “True Facts” series.