BuzzFeed Dumps Complex Media For $100 Million: Digital Media Used To Be Netflix, Now Blockbuster Video

BuzzFeed Dumps Complex Media For $100 Million: Digital Media Used To Be Netflix, Now Blockbuster Video


Photo by Ono Kosuki

Digital media remains under attack. BuzzFeed, a trailblazer in the realm of online content creation, is set to lay off 16 percent of its workforce as part of a major restructuring effort.

This decision comes hot on the heels of another surprising move: BuzzFeed’s sale of culture publication Complex Media for $100 million, The Drum reported. The sale, which represents a significant divestment from BuzzFeed’s portfolio, has sparked discussions about the changing dynamics of the digital media landscape, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

Some experts note that digital media was once considered innovative, much like Netflix, but now digital media has fallen by the wayside, like Blockbuster Video.

In a memo to staff, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti wrote, “Digital publishers are facing multiple headwinds in the current market, and our recent revenue performance reflects the fact that a bundled portfolio approach is not aligned with current advertiser or platform trends.”

He added, “More importantly, our performance does not reflect the value or future growth potential of our individual brands. The changes we are making to reduce the size of our business and administrative teams will position each brand to operate more autonomously. Moving forward, we will focus on bringing each of our brands to market with a focus on their differentiation for our advertising and platform partners.”

The demise of once-prominent digital media brands like Complex Media and Vice underscores the importance of adaptability and resilience in an ever-changing industry landscape. Both companies, once hailed as pioneers of millennial culture and digital content creation.

BuzzFeed has already pulled the plug on BuzzFeed News. Soon after that, Vice Media announced late last year less than a year after filing for bankruptcy, that it is shuttering its news operations and its flagship site, Vice.com, CNN reports.

BuzzFeed News and Vice “were early evidence of media’s great transformation towards more diverse, fragmented, authentic content designed around specific communities of interest,” says Ben Essen, chief strategy officer at digital marketing agency Iris, which counts Samsung, Adidas, Bentley and Pizza Hut among its clientele. “But given the natural result of this trajectory, we ended up with an ever larger number of smaller media businesses.”

Photo by Ono Kosuki: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-woman-surfing-laptop-and-using-smartphone-5999827/