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How did the GE-branded podcast The Message hit No. 1 on iTunes? In part, by sounding nothing like an ad
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Aug. 11, 2014, 3:11 p.m.
Business Models
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   August 11, 2014

Elizabeth Spiers was the founding editor of Gawker, editor-in-chief of The New York Observer and Mediabistro, and a founder of Breaking Media. She’s reliably smart about digital publishing, particularly its intersection with capital. (She was an equities analyst before heading to the web.)

Here she’s talking about BuzzFeed’s infusion of funding from Andreessen Horowitz and some of the framing around it.

Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, who will join BuzzFeed’s board, said: ‘We think of BuzzFeed as more of a technology company. They embrace Internet culture. Everything is first optimized for mobile and social channels.'”

Dixon, also a very smart person, wrote up a blog post about it too:

We see BuzzFeed as a prime example of what we call a “full stack startup”. BuzzFeed is a media company in the same sense that Tesla is a car company, Uber is a taxi company, or Netflix is a streaming movie company. We believe we’re in the “deployment” phase of the internet. The foundation has been laid. Tech is now spreading through every industry and every part of the world. The most interesting tech companies aren’t trying to sell software to other companies. They are trying to reshape industries from top to bottom.

BuzzFeed has technology at its core. Its 100+ person tech team has created world-class systems for analytics, advertising, and content management. Engineers are 1st class citizens. Everything is built for mobile devices from the outset. Internet native formats like lists, tweets, pins, animated GIFs, etc. are treated as equals to older formats like photos, videos, and long form essays. BuzzFeed takes the internet and computer science seriously.

(Rushfield was BuzzFeed’s L.A. bureau chief, then wasn’t.)

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