BuzzFeed Burning Through Cash, Misses Estimates in Q2 With $77.9 Million in Revenue 

The struggling media company reports a net loss for the second quarter of $27.8 million

BuzzFeed Earnings
Photo illustration by Otavio Rebelo/TheWrap

BuzzFeed ended June with $41.3 million in cash and cash equivalents, having burned through $14.5 million this year.

The struggling digital media company that shuttered its news branch amid companywide layoffs in April reported second-quarter revenue of $77.9 million Tuesday and a net loss of $27.8 million, for a loss per share of 20 cents, missing Wall Street estimates. 

The media company had a rough fiscal first quarter, reporting a net loss of $36.3 million against quarterly revenue of $67.2 million. 

Wall Street is barely tracking BuzzFeed’s dwindling finances. A sole analyst surveyed by Zacks Investment Research predicted a loss of 13 cents per share for the quarter but didn’t offer a revenue estimate. 

As of late, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti has reportedly been shopping around the company’s Complex Networks assets, aiming to garner $150 million for them. Complex was acquired by BuzzFeed just two years ago. 

On Tuesday, Peretti said that Complex would continue to deliver “premium original content that covers the latest trends and speakers, music and convergence culture.”

Peretti has also touted the use of AI and the courting of creators as ways BuzzFeed can reboot its editorial operations, with experiments coming in the form of much-derided travel guides and customizable quizzes, as well as additional AI applications through BuzzFeed products.

The media company’s stock has struggled since going public through a SPAC merger in Dec. 2021 and it has warned that it faces delisting from the Nasdaq market if it can’t raise its share price.

On Tuesday, Peretti acknowledged industry-wide “headwinds for digital content and publishing companies.” The BuzzFeed CEO highlighted that as Facebook and other tech platforms “prioritize vertical video,” the company’s “traffic referrals from these platforms to our content have diminished.” As a result, the industry-wide dynamics at play “have impacted monetization in Q2, and into Q3,” said Peretti. 

The BuzzFeed CEO noted the AI endeavors of the digital media company in the quarter which delivered “increased engagement,” data. BuzzFeed has used AI to power branded quizzes, image-based posts, games, and chatbots, and on Tuesday the company reaffirmed its intention to experiment within the AI media space. 

“We try to think where the industry is headed,” Peretti said. “And with these new generative AI technologies, it’s clear there’s going to be a lot of impact on digital publishing and content.”

The BuzzFeed CEO continued, “Building towards that future and aligning our business with that positive trend is something that we’re very focused on.” 

“We figured out how to make some good cakes,” Peretti said, “but we still have to build out the bakery that can scale this and make more content experiences like this, widely distributed across our network.”