Why BuzzFeed Is So Good at Finding Millennials Online

NewFronts presentation is data-driven, not star-studded

Instead of rolling out celebrities or playing up new series at its NewFronts presentation Monday, BuzzFeed highlighted what it does best—finding millennials online. CEO Jonah Peretti explained that the publication reaches more than half of 18- to 34-year-old consumers. It also gets more than 1 billion video views a month, up from 17 million just two years ago.

Peretti said that what BuzzFeed wants to figure out is how to deepen engagement with its audience. It's getting 12.5 million referrals a month from Twitter, 60 million from Pinterest and 349 million from Facebook. But when it comes to content viewed on those platforms alone, the number balloons to 847 million on Twitter, 6.5 billion on Pinterest and 11.3 billion on Facebook.

"You don't have to do the normal model," Peretti said. "You can instead reverse it. What if instead, you take some of the content and push it back into the stream?"

Now, BuzzFeed makes separate content for its website, apps and distribution on multiple platforms. The publisher, which currently produces 50 videos a week, is now featured on 20 different platforms around the world.

People who share BuzzFeed content are 68 percent more likely to spend more time with the content than those who don't share, and the number rises to 80 percent for branded content. To prove that it knows what goes viral, BuzzFeed treated attendees to Miracle Berries, a molecule that allows sour foods to taste sweet, and then sat back as it treated its mind-blown attendees to lemons, Guinness beer, and salt and vinegar chips.

"The mission at Buzzfeed is to have a positive impact on people's lives and the world around us," said chief revenue officer Lee Brown. "That connects to advertising as well."