Buzzfeed, the popular American website famed for perfecting the listicle is poised to captivate Japan with those succinct, inventory style posts.
On Tuesday it was announced that the news outlet will launch a Japanese news site. This will be the ninth foreign market that Buzzfeed has entered, but unlike its sites in the UK, Brazil, France, Australia, India, Germany, Mexico and Canada, the new Japanese site will not be independent. Instead, the fleeing media company plans to partner with Yahoo Japan.
BuzzFeed president Greg Coleman said it is was wise to engage in such a collaboration because of Japan’s distinct readership and media climate. He was also quoted as saying: “We put a lot of thought into finding the right partner. Beyond looking at pure reach, we wanted to find a team that has local cultural knowledge, established clients and strong revenue numbers.”
He also attempted to reassure naysayers that the new joint venture will not compromise Buzzfeed’s content or force the outlet to succumb to corporate interests. He explained that Buzzfeed’s majority stake in the partnership will let the outlet retain its “editorial and creative independence.” To be specific, that division of ownership breaks down to 51 percent for Buzzfeed versus 49 percent for Yahoo, according to the Financial Times, which added that neither company disclosed how much the news outlet has invested in Buzzfeed’s foray into Japan. It also noted that Yahoo is Japan’s biggest internet portal, and that the news site will be written in Japanese.
Coleman added that his company’s push into international markets has been spurred by its growing number of international readers, which now comprise 45 percent of its monthly readers. Part of the website’s lure Stateside has been its savvy use of Twitter and Facebook to promote its content. The popularity of those social networks in Japan will help it reach a wide readership, but Coleman said the cultural distinctness of that audience, in comparison to Buzzfeed’s other foreign markets, will also require the company to utilize more local platforms. He adds: “This is why the traffic we’ll get from Yahoo Japan will be so important to prime the pump.”