Buzzfeed stock has gone public. As a result, you could add the company to your investment portfolio if you wanted to. The company saw its users increase and eventually decided to become public. BuzzFeed became the first digital media company to go public. It opened the door for similar companies to consider the idea. How did BuzzFeed do since its IPO, and how did similar companies fare? Let’s find out.
During the previous decade, many Facebook users were buzzing over BuzzFeed. The platform offered numerous personality, movie characters, and other quizzes.
Competing for the desired results was a hit among groups of friends. I remember scrolling through my feed and seeing many friends sharing their results.
I wanted to be part of the fun and did the same. Occasionally, BuzzFeed articles about useful gadgets with links to purchase the item or news stories popped up. It was very clickbait, but we wanted to know the content and often clicked.
Before going public, BuzzFeed had an interesting journey. BuzzFeed’s CEO since its early days in 2006, Jonah Peretti, wanted to reach billions of people with exciting content. So Peretti and his partners launched a bot, BuzzBot, to track trendy subjects.
The team then hired writers and editors to write on the subjects. The idea was successful. As soon as the website began attracting users, it began to raise funding.
How BuzzFeed Became Mainstream
Remember the meme of the disaster girl? If you don’t, no worries, we uploaded it for you.
It was BuzzFeed’s first-ever viral meme. To this day, it is still a hit. In its early days, the company successfully created popular memes that brought online users together.
When the platform began to grow, it began expanding into news articles and many other content outlets.
For those who remember Facebook in its early days, BuzzFeed articles, quizzes, stories and useful tools and appliances were everywhere. The company found a way to become mainstream through other social media platforms. Its growth exploded. Which made them want to go public with Buzzfeed stock.
BuzzFeed Stock IPO
Let’s fast-forward to 2021. BuzzFeed decided to become the first digital media company to go public. The company convinced many investors to pledge $288M to the company. To skip many steps, they did it thanks to a Special-Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC). What is a SPAC?
It is a blank company with no business set to acquire another existing company. When it came time to deliver the funds, investors withdrew 94% of the promised sum. Most investors didn’t believe in the company anymore once it went public.
As a result, the stock price fell 39% in its first trading session. Since it has been declining, today, it’s down almost 60% since its debut in November 2021. So what caused this rapid decline in Buzzfeed stock?
BuzzFeed Stock Goal
One of BuzzFeed’s main goals was to be the first digital media company to go public to have access to more funding and to open new doors. However, its management also wanted to set a standard for similar companies and their valuations. We will explore these companies in the next section.
As for BuzzFeed, the public debut and following months didn’t go as planned. As a result, the number of viewers didn’t grow as anticipated, and less revenue was generated. Furthermore, the digital media industry is already saturated.
Ad revenue is a big component, but attracting viewers takes more than content. When the industry is full of Google, Facebook, and other multi-national companies, it’s imperative to have an edge on these websites with some creativity.
BuzzFeed had that extra spark in its early days, but it slowly faded as the company progressed. Over the last decade, there have been talks of mergers between many digital media companies. After seeing the BuzzFeed stock public flop, some may reconsider before going public unless they are ready to guarantee strong future growth.
Let’s take a look at other digital media companies and where they are at in their growth.
Digital Media Company Stocks
Many digital media companies have been around for decades. Not all have gone public like Buzzfeed stock though.
Many of them had to adjust their business model to adapt to the everchanging demand for content.
The majority of mainstream independent digital media companies remain private. Will that change?
Let’s begin this section with Vice. Recently, the company has been valued at around $3B. That’s about half of its 2017 valuation. It remains almost six times more valuable than BuzzFeed stock, though.
In 2021, Vice attempted to go public via a SPAC but failed. Investors weren’t interested. They didn’t believe it was an accurate valuation. News outlets are far too common. So Vice and its partners are competing with more and more companies.
Last decade, the company saw a steady growth of unique visitors on its platforms. However, earlier this year, the number was below January 2016’s. Today’s generations are more interested in short, entertaining videos than news articles or a 20-minute-long story in a foreign country. As for ad revenue, competing with the big guns is almost impossible.
Where is Vice heading? In my opinion, Vice will continue with more acquisitions. For example, in 2019, Vice acquired Refinery29, a feminist digital media and entertainment company.
It was focused on young women. This expanded its footprint and added new readers to its database. In 2018, Vice acquired Villain, an experimental events company. Many consumers seek different ways to be entertained. This is a great example of satisfying their needs.
As for an IPO, I find it unlikely. There is a higher chance Vice gets eventually acquired by another media giant for a hefty premium.
The company has fewer unique visitors on its platforms than Vice and BuzzFeed. Nevertheless, that number is slowly growing.
If companies in this business want to compete with industry giants, going public isn’t the answer just yet. They must innovate or join forces. They see what happened to Buzzfeed stock.
Industry leaders combined their digital media platforms with other platforms for viewers. Companies like Discovery (NASDAQ: WBD) have very successful Netflix shows, TV channels, and their own production companies.
However, they have to innovate and create original content. In addition, they must spend more money on advertising to gain new users.
Now You Know How to Invest in BuzzFeed Stock
To conclude, the digital media space on Buzzfeed stock is very saturated. Almost anyone can create a website or a YouTube page and produce videos about domestic and international content. We have all the tools at our disposal for this.
However, competition is fierce, and only the best ones are successful. BuzzFeed, Vice, and Vox are all great examples of successful companies in this space, but they are losing ground today. BuzzFeed’s management decided to go public to grow, but they are instead facing tough choices about their future growth.
Other media stocks like Warner, Netflix, and Disney are thriving. However, they are also facing difficulties due to all the competition. Trading in this sector is risky and unpredictable. Success comes from originality and creativity. Users always want something new. Those that can deliver will come on top.
If you want to learn more about profiting from the stock market, head to our free library of educational courses. We have something for everyone, including trading options for those with small accounts.