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It’s the end of the web as we know it. The latest news to emanate from Buzzfeed HQ is that the social media marvel known for gifs, catchy lists and things like ‘The Internet Has Peaked: Cat, On Roomba, Dressed As Shark, Chases Duck‘, is partnering with CNN to launch a YouTube presence using the news organisation’s footage. Genius.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed COO Jon Steinberg said that the company plans to invest an “eight-digit sum” over the next two years in the channel, which will adapt chunks of CNN’s archive into social media friendly short videos. For example, the first video to hit the channel is a compilation of amazing rescue moments caught on camera.
The new channel — one of many Buzzfeed has running on YouTube — will feature these videos alongside more virally-geared photo and text collaborations and older CNN footage, according to The Next Web. Despite the fact that Buzzfeed has found great success with sponsored stories it creates and brands for its partners, the channel will launch without the support of many advertisers, although Steinberg says that “BuzzFeed and CNN will figure out ways to do various ad formats and sponsored content down the road.”
The move is an effort both by CNN to reach a younger demographic and by Buzzfeed to expand the content it offers. Despite its propensity for posting highly shareable photo-based lists and funny clips, Buzzfeed has also been building out its more ‘serious’ departments, hiring long form writers and news editors and increasing its political and business coverage. As the videos from the channel will also be posted on CNN’s website, it could help Buzzfeed grow an audience more interested in its investigative content. As Kenneth “KC” Estenson, senior vice president for CNN Digital, puts it, the partnership “will enable both organizations to engage new audiences”.