BuzzFeed sales jumped 51% last quarter to $89 million on gains in advertising and commerce as the digital media publisher prepares to go public via a SPAC merger and acquire another company, Complex Networks.
Ad revenue increased 79% to $48 million, driven by higher pricing on programmatic and an increase in the total number of impressions sold. Commerce coin increased 82% to $17 million. And content revenue nosed up 5% to $24 million, reflecting the recovery from the impact of Covid-19, the company said. The updated numbers were filed with the SEC as part of its proposed merger announced in June with a special purpose acquisition company called 890 Fifth Avenue Partners in tandem with plans to buy Complex Networks from Verizon and Hearst.
That deal kicked off a stream of others in digital media with sites like Politico and The Hill both changing hands most recently — sold respectively to Alex Springer and Nexstar Media. Digital publisher Group Nine formed a SPAC to hunt for companies to buy. Vice Media is exploring options. Adam Rothstein, executive chairman of 890 said at a press conference with Peretti in June that through Buzzfeed, “We are hoping to really build an M&A machine.”
The deal valued BuzzFeed at $1.53 billion.
Revenues at Complex Networks fell 5% to $31.1 million in Q2, due primarily to the winding down of the go90 partnership, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The purchase of the youth entertainment lifestyle network.
BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti said the performance “lays the foundation for what we expect to be an exciting second half” and cited the group’s “data-informed approach to content creation and capital allocation allows us to capitalize on secular trends in advertising and commerce.”