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True Genius: How to go from “the future of journalism” to a fire sale in a few short years
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Sept. 5, 2013, 2:12 p.m.
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   September 5, 2013

The future-of-news world has been buzzing for the past 24 hours about Jonah Peretti’s year-ahead memo on the future of the company he founded, BuzzFeed. (Last summer’s memo was pretty good too.) Peretti notes that BuzzFeed’s doing big traffic and is now profitable.

The essential Peter Kafka says there’s even more to brag about:

One thing that Peretti didn’t include in the memo: Any mention of how much money BuzzFeed is bringing in.

Which is odd. Because, from what I hear, those numbers are boast-worthy, too.

A person familiar with BuzzFeed’s operations tells me that the site had planned on generating $40 million in revenue this year. But, since sales are booming, they are on track to do something closer to $60 million in 2013.

That windfall, provided by advertisers entranced by Buzzfeed’s native ad pitch, is likely the main reason the site is in the black, though not by a huge margin.

Meanwhile, a different person familiar with BuzzFeed’s operations says the site expects to keep booming next year, and is projecting $100 million in sales for 2014, while averaging something like 150 million uniques (Peretti says his site did 85 million last month).

But also note Kafka’s appropriate caution that some of that traffic is bought and paid for.

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