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March 28, 2024

The Independent takes over Buzzfeed UK brands including Huffpost

They say the deal will create "Britain's biggest publisher network" for Gen Z and millennials.

By Bron Maher

Editorial and commercial staff at Buzzfeed UK (which includes Huffpost UK) are to move over to The Independent as part of a multi-year licensing deal.

Buzzfeed Inc and Independent Digital News and Media Ltd (IDNM) said the partnership will see the businesses combine their publishing, data and advertising platforms “to allow commercial partners to seamlessly buy across their sites”.

As part of the agreement The Independent will take over Buzzfeed’s sub-brands in the UK including food vertical Tasty UK, black British identity brand Seasoned and Huffpost UK.

The Independent website has a monthly audience of 20 million in the UK, making it the sixth most popular online news brand according to Ipsos iris. None of the Buzzfeed UK brands feature in the top 50 UK news websites.

Buzzfeed-Independent deal wants to create UK’s ‘biggest publisher network’ for young audiences

Buzzfeed and Huffpost will remain separate brands under The Independent. A spokesperson for The Independent said approximately 30 staff will be moving across with the Buzzfeed brands.

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Independent chief executive and former editor-in-chief Christian Broughton said: “The Independent’s growth and outstanding success story over the last decade has been built on bold moves, and our partnership with Buzzfeed represents a new leap forward for our business. Combining these world-renowned brands, each celebrated in its own right for industry-leading digital innovation, is designed to create unprecedented opportunities for these titles and all the commercial partners we work with.

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“By pooling the talent, tech and data, and creating Britain’s biggest publisher network for Gen Z and millennial audiences, we seek to unlock investment in new editorial products and services that will ultimately benefit the readers of all the titles.”

The Independent ditched its print edition to go online only in 2016 and has been profitable ever since, reporting an operating profit of £1.9m in the year to 30 September 2022.

Buzzfeed has had a choppier time: once synonymous with the digital media boom, it has sustained repeated rounds of layoffs in the past five years culminating in the closure of its Pulitzer-winning Buzzfeed News division in 2023. The company recorded a loss of $200m in 2022.

[Read more: From unlimited oysters to redundancies – WTF happened at Buzzfeed in the UK?]

A release announcing Tuesday’s deal trumpeted the advantage for advertisers. The companies said that “commerce, events, audio, content syndication and licensing opportunities will be supported by significant high-yield targeted data segments as publishers and marketers move to first-party data and away from reliance on third-party cookies”.

Richard Alan Reid, Buzzfeed Inc executive vice president for global content, said the partnership marked “an important milestone in Buzzfeed’s ten-year presence in the UK”.

“[The Independent’s] ambition in the digital space is hugely exciting, and we believe makes them the perfect partner to deepen the connection with our young, diverse audience. The synergies between our companies have been clear from day one.”

Press Gazette reported in January that Huffpost UK was experiencing cash flow issues that had prompted late payments to freelances and the extension of invoice payment periods from 30 to 60 days.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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