Inside BuzzFeed’s Old Media Business Model

After BuzzFeed’s announcement of a new $19 million round of venture funding yesterday, we had a chat with Jonah Peretti, the company’s co-founder.

He was pretty tight-lipped about the numbers – what the company is worth, or how much revenue it’s pulling in – and much of what he said about how the company works has already been covered in depth elsewhere. But one thing stuck out that we thought was worth talking about here.

BuzzFeed gets a lot of coverage for its position as the trendiest of media companies, a kind of shorthand for everything that people think works on the internet these days. Viral, social, web native, etc etc.

But what gets overlooked in much of this analysis is that the company is notably old-school in one significant way: it’s a people-heavy business — loaded with technology, to be sure — whose fundamental approach to making money is based on hiring human beings, from creative talent to account managers. In a lot of ways, the company is more 1960s Madison Avenue than 2010s Silicon Valley.

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Source: Wall Street Journal