Buzzfeed Loses £1.9 Million, Founder Mulls Merger With Vice

Buzzfeed UK filed their accounts for 2017 on Christmas Eve. They show that revenue rose an impressive 62% to £33,363,304, unfortunately expenses also rose 48% to £35,288,846 resulting in an operating loss of £1,900,229. Which is an improvement on the previous year’s £3,543,554 loss. Head count rose in 2017 from 204 to 283 staff, resulting in a wage bill of £19,073,982 giving an average wage cost of £67,399. That was way too high in today’s media environment…

These accounts only cover the financial year up to December 2017, sure enough the following January Buzzfeed let go of a third of the London staff. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the bottom line for this year. Buzzfeed previously got a substantial 23% of their traffic from Facebook, how the great algorithm change impacted Buzzfeed is yet to be seen. It is unlikely to have been positive for traffic…

Buzzfeed UK includes financial reporting for Germany, Brazil, Spain, Mexico and India – the French division was closed down. Buzzfeed’s CEO Jonah Peretti has told the New  York Times that a merger with Vice and other big digital media publishers would be a way for them to compete with Facebook and Google for advertising revenue. One thing is for sure, sky high valuations for new media assets are coming back down to earth becauseeveryone is for sale. Venture capital funded media assets like Buzzfeed are being sold at a fraction of their previous valuations. Buzzfeed has missed the window for an IPO and a chance for investors to cash in. Surviving in a tough market is the main game…


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Scruton reflects on Twitter’s vigilantes…

“We in Britain are entering a dangerous social condition in which the direct expression of opinions that conflict – or merely seem to conflict – with a narrow set of orthodoxies is instantly punished by a band of self-appointed vigilantes. We are being cowed into abject conformity around a dubious set of official doctrines and told to adopt a world view that we cannot examine for fear of being publicly humiliated by the censors. This world view might lead to a new and liberated social order; or it might lead to the social and spiritual destruction of our country. How shall we know, if we are too afraid to discuss it?”

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