BuzzFeed Wants to Launch Startups for Royalty Cut

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BuzzFeed has grown into a digital content behemoth since it popularized its famous listicles, and now it is venturing into new territory: partnering with companies to exclusively launch products and services across its platforms for a slice of sales.

Each quarter, BuzzFeed said it will partner with one brand for the launch program in exchange for a performance-based royalty, meaning companies will only pay BuzzFeed if people actually buy what they are selling.

BuzzFeed’s Ben Kaufman, the head of the company’s e-commerce arm called Product Labs, announced the new program in a series of tweets. Kaufman noted that the best companies and products don’t always get the right attention, and the selected “launch” brands will receive the best of BuzzFeed’s advertising products, insights and team.

“We’ll look for companies that contain the attributes we look for when we make our own products. Unique, sharable, expressive of identity, etc.,” he tweeted.

Kaufman clarified that BuzzFeed is not involved in the manufacturing of products or the supply chain, the program is solely for its advertising and marketing reach.

The media company reports a global audience of 650 million people and nine billion content views per month through its cross-platform network and reaches three out of five U.S. millennials monthly.

BuzzFeed has yet to make public the exact amount of royalty it will ask from companies participating in the program or how long the company will advertise a product or service on its platforms. The new program is open to U.S. residents who are 18 years and older that own a startup company or product.

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