CNN BuzzFeed to Launch Today: Targets 18-34 Demographic

In its effort to become a news destination for young adults, BuzzFeed announced it will debut “CNN BuzzFeed” today, a new YouTube channel based on CNN reporting. It plans to feature current and archival content (about three videos a week to start), designed for sharing via social media platforms. BuzzFeed already has several YouTube channels, but the CNN partnership marks its most comprehensive with a traditional media company.

Jon Steinberg, chief operating officer, says BuzzFeed has plans to invest a low “eight-digit sum” over the next two years to develop the channel.

“The announcement marks BuzzFeed’s latest effort to establish itself as a news source among 18-34 year olds, a demographic that advertisers are eager to reach through the Web,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “Earlier this month, BuzzFeed launched a business news site aimed at expanding its social media reach to sites like LinkedIn.”

As part of the deal, content created for the new channel will also be posted to Time Warner hopes the new approach will help CNN stay relevant with younger audiences.

“The new channel will use a so-called ‘mashup’ video format that builds on a model that BuzzFeed has already helped pioneer, with scroll-through photo and text posts on topics ranging from humor to current events and pop culture,” notes the article.

Rather than incorporating a banner ad approach, BuzzFeed creates branded content to be shared over social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. However, the CNN BuzzFeed channel is launching without the support of advertising partners, so that advertising will not dictate editorial content.

“BuzzFeed and CNN will figure out ways to do various ad formats and sponsored content down the road,” Steinberg said.