When NBCUniversal needed to get young viewers to tune into the 2016 Olympics in Rio this summer, it turned to BuzzFeed, the social media-driven media company in which it had invested $200 million a year earlier.
NBCUniversal knew the millennial audience — and the lucrative advertising dollars that follow them — would be key to achieving their aggressive advertising goals.
But instead of handling this content itself, NBC enlisted a team of producers from BuzzFeed to focus on the creation of videos covering this Olympics.
At the time of the investment, Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti was quoted as saying that the funding would allow the company to grow and invest without pressure to chase short-term revenue or rush an IPO.
NBCUniversal has proven able to leverage BuzzFeed s attractiveness to advertisers and valuable audience data, while the startup gets financial security and connectivity to resources, scale and new business opportunities that spawn across NBCUniversal s portfolio of brands.
The convergence and disruption that is driving these corporate venture capital CVC deals is not limited to the entertainment industry.