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Upfront and Personal: BuzzFeed serves up Tasty views and treats

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Upfront and Personal: BuzzFeed serves up Tasty views and treats

At itsMay 2 newfront, BuzzFeed underlined its ability to connect with users by showinga clip from its Tasty network on how to make salted s'mores truffles.

BuzzFeedPresident Greg Coleman said the company postedthe video on Facebook Inc.at 9 a.m. ET and it had already generated 8.3 million views and 75,000 shares alittle over four hours later. BuzzFeed then put the food where its media buyers'mouths were, serving up the treats to attendees.

Launchedlast August, the Tasty network has expanded into Brazil, Germany and France amongother nations. BuzzFeed has also added Tasty Happy Hour for the cocktail set; kid-friendlyrecipes on Tasty Junior; and "Mom vs. Chef," where progeny vote on whethertheir mother or a chef includes the best secret ingredient.

"Tastywas not in business a year ago and it's now the largest food network in the world,"boasted Coleman.

In aquick interview after the presentation, Coleman said that BuzzFeed's roster of foodadvertisers is expansive and growing.

"Almostevery consumer-packaged-goods manufacturer is with us right now and more and moreare diving into Tasty," he said. "With Tasty they get top of the funnel,brand interest and then people run out and buy that ingredient to put into the recipe."

The clipdepicting the creation of the salted s'mores truffles underscored what BuzzFeedmaintains is its ability to understand its audience and connect with them.

SNL Image

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti at the 2016 newfront

Source: BuzzFeed

"Thepurpose of a lot of this content is to connect with an audience, and understandthat audience, and help that audience connect with other people by sharing thatcontent," CEO and founder Jonah Peretti said during the presentation.

Perettisaid BuzzFeed now counts some 7 billion monthly views, up from 2.8 billion a yearago, with some three-quarters occurring on other platforms. BuzzFeed's site gets200 million monthly unique visitors per month from its owned-and-operated platforms.

To furtherillustrate its scale, the company pointed to a video of anexploding watermelon that scored more than 10 million views, including 800,000simultaneous users on Facebook, a total in line with some cable shows. Peretti notedthat is the closest the company has come to "being comparable to television."

The eventalso featured Ze Frank, president of video unit BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, who showcasedsome of the company's "multi-hyphenate" talent that write/direct/produceand act in its original content.

One suchartist at the event was Quinta Brunson, whose "Broke" episodes have garnered27 million views on Facebook and GoogleInc.'s YouTube. She is rolling out an enhanced version of the show,based on her experience of moving to Los Angeles from Philadelphia without muchcash. Advertisers can sponsor the 12-episode season of the sitcom, as well as astand-up special she is shepherding for up-and-coming comics.

BuzzFeed'sAshly Perez is also developing second and third seasons of "You Do You,"a comedic soap aimed at millennial females, which premiered at No. 1 on 's iTunes TV store lastfall. The company highlighted partners' ability to sponsor the upcoming season of"You Do Two," while brands also can be integrated within "You DoYou 3."

Accordingto BuzzFeed CMO Frank Cooper, the company is also looking to augment the capabilitiesof its multi-hyphenates via a collaboration with Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversalMedia LLC, by tapping talent from the programmer "in front of thecamera and behind the camera." Notably, NBCUniversal invested $200 million in BuzzFeed last summer.

Cooperdid not mention more details, noting "we're still in the early days of thepartnership."

BuzzFeedwill be working with NBCOlympics and Snapchataround the Summer Games from Rio de Janeiro and the U.S. Olympic team trials, whichwill include daily Snapchat "Live Stories" and an NBC Rio Olympic Discoverchannel. NBC Olympics will co-produce the NBC Rio Olympic Discover channel withBuzzFeed, a regular contributor to NBC's content projects and the Snapchat Discoverplatform.