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BuzzFeed chief Jonah Peretti floats media mergers to better negotiate with duopoly

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By John Glenday, Reporter

November 20, 2018 | 2 min read

BuzzFeed chief executive Jonah Peretti has laid out his vision for the future of the internet media company by floating the possibility of a merger with other online publishers in order to strike more favourable terms with tech platforms such as Facebook and Google.

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BuzzFeed chief places business on a merger footing

In a broad interview with The New York Times Peretti acknowledged that BuzzFeed cannot rely solely on predicting the next viral video but must find safety in numbers instead as revenue continues to fall far short of expectations.

While the company is embracing new week-long brand partnerships options, Peretti believes in forging a larger media entity with the clout necessary to lobby for a higher share of advertising from the likes of Facebook and Google.

Speaking to the NYT Peretti said: “You have Vice and Vox Media and Group Nine and Refinery. There’s tons of them that are doing interesting work.

“If BuzzFeed and five of the other biggest companies were combined into a bigger digital media company, you would probably be able to get paid more money.”

Initial discussions to this end have already taken place with a number of companies but any mergers remain some way off.

In the meantime, BuzzFeed has already expanded its operations to flog cookware at Walmart, launched live shows on Twitter, Facebook and Netflix and inviting donations in order to better capitalise on its daily output of videos and news to boost flagging revenues.

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