BuzzFeed’s advertising revenue is dropping amid increased competition

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The business is considering using AI-powered solutions, among other things, to entice viewers and advertisers.

BuzzFeed reported $77.9 million in revenue for the three months that ended June 30, a decrease of 27% from the same period in 2022 but still within the company’s forecast.

The firm cited greater competition for ad money and audience time as the reason for the fall in advertising income, which plummeted 33% year over year to $35.4 million, while content revenue fell 22% to $31.5 million. Commerce and other sales decreased 17% to $11 million as ComplexLand, a metaverse event that occurred a year ago, did not occur this quarter.

The company reported a second quarter net loss of $27.8 million, widening from a net loss of $23.6 million a year ago but less than the $36.3 million net loss reported last quarter as a result of the closure of BuzzFeed News, general workforce reductions of about 15%, and plans to reduce its real estate holdings. In contrast to the adjusted EBITDA of $2.1 million in the second quarter of 2022, BuzzFeed announced an adjusted EBITDA loss of $0.1 million for the second quarter, narrowly missing their previous projection of $0 to $4 million.

The organizational and strategic changes that we mentioned at our Investor Day in May have been completely implemented, placing our extensive IP collection and scaled, owned-and-operated properties at risk.

Though Peretti cited “consolidation” among the “major platforms” as one factor in lower traffic, time spent, which calculates the total number of hours users spend on the company’s platforms, including content on Apple News and YouTube, fell 9 percent year over year to 96 million hours. Peretti particularly cited Facebook and “other major tech platforms” in his investor letter, claiming that their preference for vertical video has resulted in lower visitor referrals to BuzzFeed content.

The business is once more placing a focus on AI and its developer programs to counteract that. Peretti said in January that BuzzFeed will start embracing more “AI inspired content,” such as Infinity Quizzes and Chatbot Games, which started to take up greater space inside the business in March. Since Q1 to Q2, the firm has increased the amount of AI-assisted content it produces, and it anticipates continuing this trend into Q3. In addition, BuzzFeed keeps developing new generative AI forms.

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