the company experiences a 30% drop in time spent, a 30% increase in costs

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Time spent on Buzzfeed brands fell a third year over the year in the last financial quarter, the company said.

In its third-quarter 2022 financial results, the digital media company said revenue grew 15% year-over-year to more than $100 million. But the losses have multiplied by 7.5 during the same period to reach 27 million dollars.

Despite a difficult global situation, the company, which also owns Huffpost and Complex Networks, expects further revenue growth in the fourth quarter.

And chief executive Jonah Peretti (pictured above) pointed out that Buzzfeed exceeded revenue expectations for the quarter.

The company’s earnings release shows third quarter ad revenue was $50.4 million – a modest increase from the $50.2 million it reported in the third quarter of 2021.

Content revenue, however, grew faster, growing 45% from $26.5 million in Q3 2021 to $38.4 million in 2022. Other revenue, including e-commerce, increased by 11%, from $13.4 million to $14.9 million.

Revenue in the United States increased from $79.1 million to $94.6 million. During the same period, international revenues increased from $11 million to $9.2 million.

Earnings were hammered by rising costs, which rose in nearly every segment the company reported.

Total costs increased by a third, from $91 million in the third quarter of 2021 to $121.8 million in 2022. Within this, the cost of revenues increased from $48.8 million to $61 million dollars, sales and marketing expenses fell from $11.2 million to $16.3 million and “general and administrative expenses” fell from $19.8 million last Q3 to 27.3 million dollars this year.

Peretti said in a statement, “I’m proud of the results our team delivered in the third quarter, beating our August outlook for revenue and Adjusted EBITDA, despite the rapidly changing platform landscape and… persistent macroeconomic uncertainty.

“In the current environment, our advertising clients have limited budgets to deploy, and we continue to win through massive audiences, culturally relevant intellectual property, and brand safety.”

In total, Buzzfeed’s net loss fell from $3.6 million in Q3 2021 to $27 million in Q3 2022.

Other publishers, including The New York Times, reported stagnant or declining ad revenue this quarter as recession fears prompted brands to limit their marketing budgets.

[Read more: Adspend forecast – 2022 and 2023 predictions downgraded amid recession fears]

In its earnings release, Buzzfeed said “we are the number one destination for Gen Z and millennials among our competitive set, by time spent, according to Comscore.”

It can be threatened, however. The company said total time spent on its content, both on owned-and-operated properties and third-party platforms, fell from 220.9 million hours in Q3 2021 to 150.7 million hours. in the third quarter of 2022, a decrease of approximately 32%.

In Q3 2021, approximately 31% (or 68.5 million hours) of Buzzfeed’s total time spent came from owned-and-operated properties. The remaining 69% (152.4 million hours) came from third-party platforms.

In Q3 2022, however, that appears to have changed markedly, with third-party platforms and owned properties each accounting for 50% of time spent. Although Buzzfeed did not disclose the numbers, this would imply a 10% increase in time spent on Buzzfeed’s own properties (i.e. its websites), but a drop of more than 50% of the time spent on its content on third-party platforms.

An investor presentation that accompanied the results highlighted growth in time spent, Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) and profitability in the years up to — but not — 2022.

Buzzfeed has had a few uncertain years. The Buzzfeed site itself was a linchpin of the content economy in the mid-2010s, and its originally derided news arm eventually published many defining, and sometimes notorious, stories.

But the newsroom has since been serially cut, and the business has struggled to garner the attention it once had. It merged with Huffpost in late 2020, bought youth entertainment network Complex in June 2021 and went public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in December of that year – raising only $16 million out of the expected $250 million.

[Read more: Forbes officially cancels plan to go public amid ‘deteriorating SPAC market’]

Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

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