The trailblazers of digital publishing

BuzzFeed’s losses in its international business quadrupled last year, underscoring the challenges facing one of the trailblazers of digital publishing. The company said pre-tax losses in its non-US business, including countries such as the UK, Germany and Brazil, widened to £8.9 million in the year ending December 2018, compared to a loss of £1.9 million the year before. Turnover fell by 35 per cent to £21.6 million, which BuzzFeed UK attributed to no longer booking ad sales and other “marketing services” carried out for its US parent company BuzzFeed Inc, causing “intercompany revenue” to fall by £14.8 million. The same changes helped the international business reduce costs by £4.3 million… The figures offer a glimpse into the international business of the digital publisher known for its quizzes, so-called listicles and investigative reporting. BuzzFeed was, together with companies such as Vice and Vox, the darling of investors before it ran into an uncertain advertising market. Its US- based parent company, which was founded in 2006, made revenues of more than $300 million last year but has yet to turn a profit… BuzzFeed has since the end of the reporting period closed its offices in Spain and France, and in early 2019 it announced it would cut 15 per cent of its workforce — roughly 200 jobs. 

Patricia Nilsson