Since launching in 2006, BuzzFeed has become one of the world’s great digital media success stories. They started by mastering the art of shareable content, moved into journalism to break big news stories, and then enhanced their strengths by creating their own state-of-the-art film studio. They’ve also devised effective monetization strategies—chief among them the creation and publishing of branded video and native content for their advertising clients.

From its earliest days, BuzzFeed has taken an innovative data-driven approach to growing their audience and their ad revenue. This has led them to use a variety of measurement products to access, organize, and share data about their audience.


As today’s audiences continue to fragment, advertisers are moving away from measurement based solely on demographics and towards measurement based on more specific data that cuts across traditional age, gender, and racial categories. Examples for this type of data include things like audience purchasing preferences, browsing habits, and content viewing choices.

The challenge this represents for digital publishers that depend on ad revenue is that accessing such data is both time-consuming and labor-intensive.

In this context, Quantcast Measure has become a powerful audience measurement product for BuzzFeed, giving them a faster and easier way to get views of their audience that go beyond basic demographics. That’s because Quantcast Measure has been designed from the ground up to reveal extremely specific and accurate data about an audience, including:

  • Products they like
  • Hobbies they enjoy
  • Other sites they visit
  • Shows they watch
  • Content they’re engaging with

With advertisers demanding access to more specific audience data, Quantcast Measure has given BuzzFeed a real advantage in winning their business.

Insights we derive from Quantcast Measure help us tell more successful and specific stories. If a client wants to know about our African American audience in a certain age range, we can tell them more than ever before—for instance, if they like horror movies. We’ve received feedback from clients that they love this because they’re trying to sell a product to specific audiences and richer data about those audiences is extremely helpful.”

Darris Lee, Research Data Standards


Before they commit to a campaign, many advertisers are looking for definitive proof that the audience they want to reach is well-represented on a publisher’s site.

Audience Builder, one of Quantcast Measure’s advanced features, has helped BuzzFeed accelerate their ability to provide that proof during the crucial pre-sales/RFP process.

For example, if an advertiser is interested in reaching female basketball fans between the ages of 28 and 40 who make at least $70k/year, Audience Builder can not only locate that audience across the BuzzFeed site at a high level of accuracy, but also produce a comprehensive report about that audience to share with the advertiser.

Accessing custom audience reports used to take days. But using Audience Builder, BuzzFeed can access custom audience reports in just three minutes. In the highly competitive world of ad sales, this has made a big difference.

The length of time it takes us to build an audience and produce a report about them has been cut down exponentially.”

Mia Alicata, Research Coordinator


Advertisers also want more detailed information than ever about the audience an individual piece of content is reaching, but most audience measurement products aren’t built for revealing this granular kind of data.

Advanced Quantcast Measure features—such as Content Segments— have been designed for just this purpose and have made it easier for BuzzFeed to gather and share insights about the audience for individual pieces of content (often called “post-level” content).

This means that BuzzFeed can now provide analytical insurance that a specific piece of content they’ve created for an advertiser is reaching the intended audience. They can also use labels to show where an advertiser’s target audience is viewing content on the site.

All of these capabilities, unlocked by labels, are proving helpful for winning new deals, increasing deal size, driving renewals, and honing the effectiveness of the content itself.

Here’s what one member of the BuzzFeed ad sales team had to say:

The data Quantcast Measure provides via labels helps us show that we understand a client’s target audience beyond the niche characteristics they’ve identified. For instance, we can reveal that fashion-conscious consumers attractive to a lifestyle brand are actually looking at specific non-fashion content across the site. These kinds of insights drive deeper conversations with our brand partners, allowing us to add diversity to the content mix and, ultimately, find more success with our partnerships.”

Céline van Riemsdijk, Brand Strategy Director


Through the use of Quantcast Measure and its advanced features such as Audience Builder and Content Segments, BuzzFeed has enhanced their data-driven business.

They have:

Increased their efficiency

  • The time it takes for the Research team to receive its requested reports about highly specific audiences has gone from a few days to 3 minutes
  • By receiving data sooner, the Sales team has saved a day per week in response time for RFPs and has the audience data they need to make a more compelling pitch to advertisers

Deepened partnerships

  • Their top strategic partners are getting a greater understanding of their audiences, gaining actionable insights they haven’t had before
  • BuzzFeed drives more repeat business by proving that individual pieces of content are reaching an advertiser’s target audience


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