News is putting its podcasting ambitions on pause.
digital-media company is cutting its in-house podcast production
team as it shifts resources away from audio and toward creating
original shows similar to the ones its produced for Netflix, Twitter and Facebook .
a result of the changes, most of BuzzFeed’s podcasts would be
shutting down, said Shani Hilton, vice president of news and
programming at BuzzFeed News, in a memo to staff. They include
“See Something Say Something,” “The News” and “Reporting To
decided to move to a production model that is more like our TV
projects — that is, treating shows as individual projects,
with teams brought on as needed,” Ms. Hilton wrote in the
cuts will only affect a handful of BuzzFeed employees,
according to a person familiar with the decision. The company
still plans to continue producing podcasts, but without a
dedicated in-house production team, according to a
representative from BuzzFeed.
shift toward producing original video for major social-media
and streaming platforms is mirrored elsewhere across the
digital publishing sector, as companies such as Mic, Attn: and
Vox Media attempt to diversify their revenue streams amid a
tough digital advertising market.
has been in the podcasting business for several years. In
2015, the company launched “Another
Round” and “Internet Explorer,” shows that focused on race and
pop culture and internet culture, respectively. Earlier this
year, the company inked a deal with Spotify to produce a
news briefing for its Spotlight
decision to cut its original podcasting staff comes on the
heels of a similar decision, made last week, by the audio
Audible Originals, the podcasting unit run by Amazon.com Inc.’s Audible
audiobooks division, also laid
off several employees earlier this
other digital-media firms, BuzzFeed has struggled to keep pace
with investor expectations amid a difficult digital
advertising market. Last year, BuzzFeed missed its revenue
targets of about $350 million by some 15% to 20% and laid off
about 100 employees on its advertising sales and business
operations side. In a
recent interview with Adweek, BuzzFeed
chief revenue officer Lee Brown said the company was on pace
to notch “double-digit” revenue growth.
a memo to staff earlier this year, BuzzFeed Chief Executive
Jonah Peretti said the company posted its first nine-figure
quarter at the end of 2017.