Which media company are you?
How a young company plans to take on the news Leviathans
WHEN Arianna Huffington sold her online-news firm for $315m in 2011, people gawked at the price tag. Now BuzzFeed, a hipper digital news firm co-founded by Jonah Peretti, a Huffington Post alumnus, has one-upped her. On August 10th Andreessen Horowitz, a venture-capital firm, said it was investing $50m in BuzzFeed, reportedly valuing the eight-year-old website at $850m, half the market value of the New York Times.
当Arianna Huffington在2011年以3.15亿美元的价格卖掉她的在线新闻公司时，人们被这个价签惊呆了。如今，BuzzFeed—家由赫芬顿邮报员工Jonah Peretti联合创立的新潮的数字新闻公司，比她更胜一筹。8月10日，一家风险投资公司Andreessen Horowitz称其正拿出5000万美元对BuzzFeed公司进行投资，据报道，成立八年的BuzzFeed网站的估价为8.5亿美元，约为纽约时报市值的一半。
Perhaps the investment is not so extraordinary. According to comScore, a research firm, BuzzFeed had around 75m unique visitors in June—more than the websites of the Times and other bigdailies. It makes money through “sponsored content”—which often looks remarkably and deliberately like a normal article, but is commissioned by advertisers. “Which Barbie Doll Are You?” was one of Buzzfeed's quizzes earlier this year . It was paid for by Mattel, Barbie's maker.
或许这一投资并非如此令人意外。根据一家研究公司comScore的数据，BuzzFeed 在6月拥有约7500万独立访问者，这个数字超过了时报等其他大型日报网站的独立访问量。它通过发布“赞助内容”来赚钱，这些“赞助内容”通常很引人注目且看起来很像普通的文章，但是实际上是由广告方委托发布的。BuzzFeed 今年年初的一个调查问卷—“你是哪种芭比娃娃？”就是由芭比娃娃的制造商—美泰花钱委托发布的。
BuzzFeed is only one of several new-media firms making headlines. Others include Business Insider, Quartz and Vice. These firms know how to present stories slickly on screens and to create a buzz for their wares on social media.
在这些新型媒体公司中，BuzzFeed 是唯一一家上头条的。这些新型媒体公司还包括Business Insider， Quartz 和Vice。这些公司熟知如何将故事巧妙的呈现在屏幕上，并在社交媒体上为其商品制造话题。
It'sSilicon Valley. They say we're toast
It is rare for venture capitalists to invest in the news business, especially at a time when many owners of newspapers are selling them, from Gannett (publisher of USA Today) to Tribune Company (the Los Angeles Times). Perhaps Silicon Valley has so much cash that money is flooding all the way toNew York. But venture capitalists also seem to see an opportunity for new firms in a business mostly controlled by veterans.
Surprisingly, BuzzFeed is starting to look a bit like an old-media organisation itself. It plans to hire more journalists, opening outposts around the world this year. But Mr Peretti does not see any tension. “What you see in the history of media is that companies start out doing small, lower-cost ways of content and then move up the chain,” he says. BuzzFeed could yet go from producing “listicles” to listing on the stockmarket. But it still needs to answer the question, “Which Media Company Are You?”
令人惊奇的是，BuzzFeed正开始看起来有点像一家传统媒体机构。它计划今年雇佣更多的记者，在全世界部署前哨。但Peretti先生没有感到任何压力。他说“你们在媒体历史中看到的是媒体公司一开始使用低档的低成本的方法从事媒体工作以及随后升级产业链”。 BuzzFeed 还能通过开发listicles功能进而使公司上市。但是“你是哪种媒体公司？”—这个问题依然需要解答。