Take Two for May 28, 2013

BuzzFeed and CNN partner on new YouTube channel

TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 - Day 1

Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Jonah Peretti of Buzzfeed speaks onstage at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 at The Manhattan Center on April 29, 2013 in New York City.

Buzzfeed has become a reliable source for one's daily fix of cat memes and celebrities' viral videos, but a new partnership with CNN will give the social content sharing site a new web of possibilities.

BuzzFeed announced that it will be launching a new "CNN BuzzFeed" Youtube channel targeted at giving news to the 18 to 34 demographic. The deal will give BuzzFeed access to CNN's video archive, opening countless doors for creativity with BuzzFeed's popular news mash-ups. The first video on the CNNBuzzfeed account featured a compilation of the greatest rescue moments. 

Another investment on the side of BuzzFeed will be create a new social video studio, located in Los Angeles, rather than CNN's home of Atlanta. 

"There aren't many places on the planet that have the creative talent that Los Angeles has," said Ze Frank, the executive vice president of video at BuzzFeed. "In our production company, we don't have specialization of labor, we don't have an editing room, a writing room, or a director set. We have run-and-gun people who can do the job from beginning to end, which I think is really important in experimentation."

BuzzFeed launched in 2006, and consists of posts usually containing an image, video, or link. The site is most popular among "Millennials," a generation consisting of a majority of the current work face, and hopes the role of CNN makes the site's content newsworthy in an easily accessible format.

"There's a lot of that content hasn't been optimized for shareability," Frank said. "I think there's a greater role for news, (and) for political events in young people's lives. I think of it as a broad challenge of reformatting this content towards network-native behavior, whether that's in the younger demographic or older demographic."

Frank also hopes that BuzzFeed can utilize CNN's archives in order spread content beyond the television, and onto tablets, phones, and other mobile devices. 

"There's so much amazing content sitting in the archives from CNN which has to deal with our history, which has to do with humanity broadly, that has not yet really been optimized for the web, for the networks, and for growth," he said. 

BuzzFeed President & COO Jon Steinberg told the Wall Street Journal that BuzzFeed will invest a low "eight-digit sum" in the next two years to fund the new video platform. 


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