BuzzFeed is endeavouring in additional revenue streams, through content commerce

Buzzfeed has embarked on increasing the frequency of its newsletter gift guide content to one per week, after finding out through research, that their audience is actively looking for gift ideas from their friends.

In the past month, the digital publisher has nearly doubled the size of the editorial team focused on gift-based content, and it will dramatically increase the frequency and output of its gift guide newsletter while looking for ways to apply the lessons it’s learned to other verticals.

Content commerce through newsletters isn’t a new trend, given the likes of Time Inc. being the first to adopt Apple Pay, however what is apparent is the growing role of the editorial vertical specialist, particularly in the eCommerce space and the acceptance from readers of blending audience and commerce.

BuzzFeed has 12 core weekly newsletters, with about 50 editions of newsletters a week. Some, like DIY and Food newsletters, go out two or three times a week.

The lesson other digital publishers can take from this, as said by Chris Vollmer, principal at PwC’s strategy consulting firm Strategy is. “Publishers need to have the first party insights to create commerce environments that are contextually relevant to their users as well as their brand partners. That means understanding the preferences, interests and behaviors of their user communities more deeply and more analytically than they have before.”

Ecommerce brands can also ride the wave from any digital publisher taking this approach and develop loyal customers, as it has been reported from Business Insider that BuzzFeed, for example, drove a staggering 792% more referral traffic to subscription retail sites than to regular retail.


Founder and Editor in Chief of State of Digital Publishing and Seek An Audience. My vision is to provide digital publishing and media professionals a platform to collaborate and promote their efforts, my passion is to uncover talent and the latest trends for all to benefit.

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