The Future. BuzzFeed’s film and TV division, BuzzFeed Studios, is ramping up for a banner year of releases that may signal the rise of the upstart production house. With digital publishers like BuzzFeed disappointing on Wall Street (thanks to ad revenue funneling almost exclusively to Big Tech), a move to premium entertainment could give the company a needed revenue stream.
Your watchlist this year may include a movie from BuzzFeed.
- Last week, BuzzFeed Studios released the romantic comedy Book of Love, starring Sam Claflin and Verónica Echegui, on Amazon Prime.
- It’s a good fit for BuzzFeed, which discovered that its audience base is 86% more likely to watch a rom-com than the “average internet user.”
- Also, book-related content on BuzzFeed has scored 700 million views — a good sign for a movie that is about an author and his book’s Spanish translator.
- The studio marketed the movie in the most BuzzFeed way possible: lists and quizzes, which helped hype the movie organically in the outlet’s ecosystem.
BuzzFeed has several more projects ready to release this year, including rom-com My Fake Boyfriend with Sarah Hyland and Dylan Sprouse, supernatural-thriller Dear David with Justin Long, and the TV series What She Said at Peacock.
The studio has a film output deal with Lionsgate and a TV one with Universal.
Need more buzz
It’s been a long road for BuzzFeed’s film and TV ambitions. The company’s first iteration, BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, launched in 2014, right in the middle of the digital publishing boom… but ultimately fizzled without making much of a dent.
Now that every studio and streamer is figuring out how to capture internet virality, BuzzFeed Studios head Richard Alan Reid says the company is “strongly positioned to be the antidote to those struggles. We have our connection with our audience, we’re able to tell them what to watch or tell them what’s on offer and where to find it.” Strangely, it may now be BuzzFeed’s time to shine.