Vox Media, which owns a growing portfolio of online news brands including Re/Code, raised $46.5 million in 2014 and already counts Comcast (through its venture arm) as an investor. Vox Media did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Both NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed are headquartered in New York, but have large presences in Los Angeles. NBCU will find ways to stay relevant, while BuzzFeed will, of course, benefit from the media unit’s nationwide reach. The media firm also houses an editorial team in the Fairfax District, and its video department works out of a 40,000-square-foot office across from the ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood.
BuzzFeed’s value has hovered around the $1 billion mark for a while, since Disney reportedly passed on acquiring BuzzFeed at that price.
NBCUniversal owns channels including USA, Bravo, E! and MSNBC.
NBCUniversal’s CEO Steve Burke is looking to tap into digital audiences to increase its offerings’ appeal to millennials, who are apparently not fond of NBCU’s TV networks. Buzzfeed’s trademarks are quizzes and lists, but it has a budding news division as well.
Similarly, NBCUniversal could extend BuzzFeed into TV and movies, a stated ambition since BuzzFeed Motion Pictures started up in August after the company’s last big investment. It also helps Comcast keep up with other legacy media and entertainment companies that have been investing and making acquisitions in the digital media space. Vox, meanwhile, doesn’t just own Re/code but also Vox and The Verge, two extremely popular websites that have each taken several shots at Comcast over the past couple of years.
The news comes a week after the Wall Street Journal alleged that NBCUniversal was talking to multiple online media companies in a ploy to better target millennial audiences.