NowThis News Attracts High-Profile Supporters

Will introduce sponsored video content

Coming soon to NowThis News: native ads and big-name investors.

The New York-based startup, which describes itself as a mobile-centric news outlet for millennials, plans this summer to introduce sponsored video content to its mix of newsy and offbeat editorial fare.

If it sounds like a page out of BuzzFeed’s advertorial playbook, it does for good reason. NowThis News was co-founded last fall by BuzzFeed executive chairman Kenneth Lerer and backed by his firm Lerer Ventures.

NowThis News gm Eason Jordan acknowledged BuzzFeed’s shareable ad content as a model for NowThis News.

“Everything is meant to make the consumer experience as good as it can be,” he said. “We don’t want people coming to us and saying the advertising is such that I’m just not interested.”

Preroll ads are not in the works, Jordan added, considering many of the site’s videos clock in around one minute in length.

The company has been tight-lipped about the first advertisers to sign on, but Jordan hints they are “national, renowned brands.”

NowThis News—which has apps for Apple (100,000 iOs downloads to date) and Android devices—has attracted high-profile backers, too. Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman has come on as a new investor, and former MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath is an adviser.

“When you have the father of MTV and essentially the mother of MTV Networks, we’re feeling like we’ve got a lot of good karma coming along with them,” Jordan said.