BuzzFeed Gets $50M; Thrillist's Native Success

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BuzzFeed Optimizes Bank

On Monday, BuzzFeed closed a $50 million investment deal from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. With the new injection of cash, BuzzFeed boats a $850 million valuation, according to The New York Times. The online publisher will likely use the funds to broaden its content offerings and deepen its in-house advertising arm. Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, explained that the investment in BuzzFeed had a lot to do with the company’s huge social reach. “We think of BuzzFeed as more of a technology company. They embrace Internet culture. Everything is first optimized for mobile and social channels.” Read on.

Native Blasts Off

Thrillist is on a space-themed mission to prove native advertising leads to direct sales, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Working with General Electric, the lifestyle guide launched a native campaign to market a line of limited-edition shoes, produced by GE, by linking native ad spots directly to JackThreads.com. Thrillist began the campaign in early July, leading up to the 45th anniversary of the lunar landing. The rare sneakers snuck their way alongside space-based posts on Thrillist, the connecting thread being that GE made the rubber used in the moon boots worn that historic day in 1969. The shoes sold out (100 pairs at $195 = $19,500 total revenue). But they were so coveted that consumers were paying as much as $2,000 a pair on eBay. Thrillist Vice President for Integrated Marketing Paul Josephsen adds that readers spend 30% more time on sponsored content. Read more. But how scalable is this?

Buying Into Programmatic TV

Mediahub and Videology are working together, the companies revealed on Monday. Mediahub, the media division of Boston-based agency Mullen, tapped programmatic video ad platform Videology to help address and develop digital video and TV offerings for its clients. Said Sean Corcoran, Mullen’s SVP and director of digital media, "It's a one TV/digital video world, and we're trying to plan and prepare for that. We're looking for partners that can help plan across screens and that can manage the data under one roof.” Adweek has the story.

Couponing Chat

The ever-evolving messaging app Snapchat is continuing to graduate its offerings, this time through a partnership with Groupon. Through the coupling, the ephemeral photo-sharing facilitator and Groupon will serve time-sensitive offers to SnapChat users, who will have to follow Groupon.com in order to receive deals. The partnership makes sense for Groupon, as it purportedly looks to expand its offerings from just couponing to include ecommerce tools such as a payment processing function. And since more than half of Groupon’s transactions come from mobile, all the more reason to start snapping. Lets Talk Payments has more.

Consolidating Conversations

On Monday, ecommerce site BeachMint gained all operational control of Lucky Magazine, a realignment that's all part of BeachMint's recent joint venture with Condé Nast. The partnership makes sense, according to TechCrunch, as retailers and publishers alike struggle to monetize through content.In an oddly similar turn of events, Epicurious.com's general manager, Carolyn Kremins, is exiting Condé Nast, and Bon Appetit VP-Publisher Pamela Drucker Mann will manage both publications. Now, marketers looking to reach audiences across both magazines will have a centralized plan of attack. "We were having separate conversations with advertisers," Drucker Mann told Ad Age. "Now we can have one conversation."

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