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Mergers & Acquisitions & Stuff

Yahoo! and Tumblr did it last week. This week, it’s CNN, BuzzFeed and YouTube. Why are these big companies combining forces on the social media front? And will it ultimately help all parties?

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The details:

CNN and BuzzFeed announced on Tuesday, May 28, that they are unveiling CNN BuzzFeed, a YouTube channel that will be based on archived and current content from CNN combined with mash-ups of new videos tailored for the social web. BuzzFeed intends to create three videos (which will appear on CNN.com as well as the new YouTube channel) per week for the channel. The Los Angeles studio where these videos will be produced will house a coffee shop and store and will have an expected team of 30 people.

The hope is that CNN will reach more of the younger crowd and boost its ratings with the help of BuzzFeed’s unique editorial voice. What might bolster this argument: BuzzFeed claims that 70% of its traffic is social and that the majority of the readers are ages 18-34. And The Wall Street Journal reports that BuzzFeed will invest a “low eight-digit sum” in the next two years to launch the platform. That would go a long way to help the fledgling production studio that has two mammoth companies as parents.

With last week’s announcement of the successful acquisition of Tumblr, Yahoo! is looking ahead to its next possible procurement that could contend with YouTube. There was talk of taking on Orange’s Dailymotion, but the French government has blocked that sale. What’s next? Daily Nation says that Hulu would be an obvious next choice.

The questions:

But what is the goal of all of this merging? Is it to provide new content in new formats? How long will we have to wait to see the changes, positive or negative, to the social media world?

The answers:

I really don’t have any at this point. We’ll have to wait and see. BuzzFeed and CNN are two companies that don’t seem to have much in common, but hopefully, I’m wrong. I love to peruse both sites daily, whether it is for the cutest cat meme known to the human race or for the heavy news story that everyone’s talking about. Let’s see how they mingle.

Image courtesy of Variety.com

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