BuzzFeed turns to AI and creators after closing news department – ​​The Hollywood Reporter

BuzzFeed is BuzzFeed News and 15 percent headcount reduction of its workforce.

At first income Chief Executive Officer Jonah Peretti said in a report since the layoffs announcement that the cuts and changes made to the company (including budget, real estate, vacancy cuts and other cost cuts) meant the company He said he was on the right track.

“We have reached an inflection point in digital media. Over the past few months, we have made significant strategic and organizational changes to position our business for long-term growth. It’s in our DNA, and we believe our focus on creators and AI will unlock new opportunities across our portfolio of trusted brands, including Tasty, First we Feast, Complex, HuffPost and BuzzFeed,” said Peretti. said in the earnings release.

“Broadly speaking, I believe that generative AI will start to replace the majority of static content. You’ll start to expect it to be interactive and dynamic, and many other formats and conventions in the media industry will also need to be updated and adapted or they’ll be outdated and outdated. You’ll start to feel it,” he continued on the earnings call.

In January, Peretti reported to BuzzFeed will begin to accept more “AI-inspired content” will become “part of our core business” starting in March. This includes new AI formats such as Infinity Quizzes and Chatbot Games. Peretti said Tuesday that time spent on AI-based quizzes has increased by more than 40 percent compared to traditional quizzes.

The company is “rapidly prototyping” new generative AI quizzes and chatbots and “plans to expand in the coming months.”

Buzzfeed will also “expand rapidly” its creator program, which connects influencers and advertisers with the company’s brand.

“The next few years will be defined by creators partnering with the best media brands for credibility and community,” Peretti said on the earnings call.

Financial results for the three months ended March 31 show the company was coping. BuzzFeed reported revenue of $67.2 million in the first quarter, down 27 percent year-over-year, including a 30 percent decline in advertising revenue and a 33 percent decline in content revenue. Commerce and other revenue increased 6% to $11.3 million.

The company reported a net loss of $36.3 million, down from a net loss of $44.6 million in the first quarter of 2022. However, the adjusted EBITDA loss was $20.2 million compared to an adjusted EBITDA loss of $16.8 million in the same period last year.

Hours spent remained relatively flat, declining 3% in the quarter to 109 million hours.

BuzzFeed News’ shutdown said Peretti had chosen to “overinvest” in the field, but said that “major platforms will not have the distribution and financial resources necessary to support premium and free journalism dedicated to social media.” It was done in the midst of knowing that we could not provide support. ”

BuzzFeed said it expects second-quarter revenue of $76 million to $81 million and adjusted EBITDA of $0 to $4 million.

The company did not respond to any questions from analysts on its earnings release.

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