BuzzFeed partners with CNN, announces LA-based “social video” studio (Update)

Viral media site BuzzFeed on Tuesday launched a new YouTube(s goog) channel in partnership with CNN that is aimed at bringing news to young viewers.

The deal, which was reported by the Wall Street Journal, will see BuzzFeed invest a low “eight figure sum” over the next two years to build up the platform.

Update: BuzzFeed followed up the CNN news by announcing it will “aggressively expand” its video operations under web video pioneer, Ze Frank, and that it will “build a social video studio, designed to create news and entertainment video content exclusively for YouTube.”

The first CNN video to appear on the site appeared Tuesday morning and features a mash-up of dramatic or heart-tugging clips drawn from famous rescues that have appeared on TV in recent years — Chilean miners, children in wells and so on:


The clip, which is hosted on a new BuzzFeed vertical called CNNBuzzFeed, includes ponderous voiceovers extolling the human spirit. It has yet to appear on CNN’s website.

The partnership appears to be an effort to bring some viral energy to CNN while allowing BuzzFeed to stake out more ground amidst mainstream media outlets. In the last year, the site, which was first known for cat videos, has broken several major news stories and formed partnerships with the likes of the New York Times(s nyt).

CNN and BuzzFeed have not described the revenue angles of the deal, though it is worth noting that the conclusion of the “Rescue” video brings up invitations to watch clips other YouTube channels such as the Young Turks.

Here is how BuzzFeed described the nature of the YouTube partnership:

Production will be headquartered in a newly constructed social video studio in Los Angeles which will have a coffee shop and store where influencers, thinkers and celebrities will be able create informal videos made for the social web. The team will grow to over 30 people in the coming months. BuzzFeed Video will have a dedicated, prominent placement on the BuzzFeed homepage that will bring new forms of social content to the site’s 60MM unique visitors. Expansion plans include creating new channels, including recreating a video news format that is shareable.