CNN and BuzzFeed are going for the social media gold with a new YouTube channel containing clips hand-picked for shareability.
BuzzFeed COO Jason Steinberg told the Wall Street Journal the project will cost his company in the low tens of millions. For reference, BuzzFeed just raised a $19.3 million round of funding.
While you may think BuzzFeed is more about cat pictures and celebrity shockers than actual news, the partnership is actually intended to focus on creating around three clips per week, included content around honest-to-god, serious news events.
For example, the first CNN BuzzFeed clip will feature a montage of CNN’s archival news footage of “some of the most amazing rescue moments shown on CNN,” such as the Chilean miners. It’s the news you loved in the BuzzFeed format you don’t so much trust as are addicted to.
Of course, traditional BuzzFeed cat-Bieber-lol fodder will still be on the menu.
Finally, the partnership is launching sans ads, with a range of advertising formats and sponsored content options coming “down the road,” Steinberg said. In this area, BuzzFeed has significant street cred. Last year, the site captured around $20 million with no traditional display ads/banner ads. Rather, it sells sponsored content and custom campaigns.