Buzzfeed will not be going public anytime soon. The revenue generated by the company for 2017 is off by as much as 20%. Buzzfeed was aiming for $350 million in revenue this year. However, according to unnamed sources, the actual results could be 15% or even 20% below that target. As Buzzfeed is a privately held company, their financial results are not regularly distributed to the public.
The target of $350 million which BuzzFeed set for itself is 35% more than its 2016 revenue. The company’s rapid growth and development has increased costs and worried board members, as the digital media industry has struggled to create profit. It is also anticipated that Vice Media will fall short of its revenue target for the year as well. The company multiplied video initiatives with franchises like Tasty and Nifty. They opened an e-commerce unit called BuzzFeed Product Lab in late 2016.
“BuzzFeed grew revenue, content views, unique visitors, and time spent in 2017; we’ve expanded our ad offering with new products and programmatic, and rapidly diversified revenue through commerce, licensing, and development for TV and film. With a strong, growing portfolio of brands in BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed News, Tasty, Nifty and more, we have greater audience reach and a more diversified business than ever, and are very well-positioned heading into 2018.”
For some time now, BuzzFeed’s financial health and the possibility of an IPO have been a cause for concern among media watchers. According to reports from 2015, BuzzFeed cut down its revenue goal for that year from $500 million to $250 million, numbers the company has disputed.
In an interview with Variety earlier this year, CEO Jonah Peretti stopped midway while outlining the company’s IPO plans and instead stated that going public was “one possible path” for the company.
BuzzFeed commented to CNBC that it was “very well-positioned” for 2018, but did not make any specific comments about a public offering.
Earlier, BuzzFeed dismissed the idea of implementing banner ads as annoying clutter. However, according to CEO Jonah Peretti, the company recently made a decision to accept banner ads.