BuzzFeed Japan and HuffPost Japan to Merge Creating a Digital Media Powerhouse with Broad Reach
The combined company will operate under the BuzzFeed Japan K.K. name.
TOKYO (March 31, 2021) - BuzzFeed Japan K.K. (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter referred to as "BuzzFeed Japan") and The Huffington Post Japan K.K. (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter referred to as "The Huffington Post Japan") today announced their plans to merge. The combined company will operate under the BuzzFeed Japan K.K. name.
The combination of the two companies will create a new force in the Japanese digital media space, offering a diversified mix of news, entertainment, food, and lifestyle content. BuzzFeed Japan’s audience is predominantly Gen Z and Millennials, while HuffPost Japan has a more affluent audience in their 30s and 40s as well as young generations. With the goal of spreading truth and joy across the internet, the combined company aims to have a positive impact on the lives of its viewers and readers, while offering business partners unmatched reach in the target demographics.
The developments in the Japanese market follow the November 2020 announcement that BuzzFeed and Verizon Media would be forging a new strategic partnership for content and advertising, which would see BuzzFeed acquire HuffPost from Verizon Media. This deal resulted in BuzzFeed becoming the majority shareholder in both BuzzFeed Japan and HuffPost Japan. The merger announced today will now bring the two entities together.
“We are very excited about this merger," said Scott Mackenzie, CEO of BuzzFeed Japan. “Both companies are profitable and have been incredibly successful building up large and loyal audiences over the years. We will now be creating a combined team of highly experienced and talented people to deliver an even better and more diverse lineup of content to our audience, and to continue our trajectory of growth by branching out into new business areas.”
Masumi Sakikawa, CEO of The Huffington Post Japan, will be appointed as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of the new company. “Bringing together the strengths of BuzzFeed, which has impressive reach in the 20-something and Business to Consumer segments, and HuffPost, which has a great track record with B to C and Business to Business-focused clients, will be highly complimentary. The brands will continue to focus heavily on social issues, utilizing not only traditional posts but also a video, audio and native advertising content, as we look to continue being a media outlet that contributes to the daily lives of our readers and viewers. We will also explore new business solutions for clients based on our user insights,” said Sakikawa.
As a result of the merger, HuffPost Japan will become one of the verticals that will operate under the BuzzFeed umbrella on Saturday, May 1, 2021. It will sit together with BuzzFeed Japan, BuzzFeed Japan News, BuzzFeed Kawaii, and Tasty Japan (with more than 17 million followers). Each of the five brands will continue to work independently from a content perspective. The news divisions of BuzzFeed Japan News and the HuffPost Japan edition will remain as independent news organizations.
The size of the company’s combined audience will be one of the largest in Japan. BuzzFeed Japan has more than 35 million unique visitors (UV) per month (as of December 2020), and the HuffPost Japan edition has 24 million (as of April 2020).
The two news divisions, BuzzFeed Japan News and HuffPost Japan, have been actively covering issues that their audiences feel strongly about, such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, climate crisis, gender equality and LGBTQ issues, labor issues, and internationalization. By covering new businesses and social movements from a different perspective than existing media, both brands have gained the support of the next generation of readers and viewers, and new consumers. BuzzFeed Japan News and HuffPost Japan also offer partnership opportunities to brands who care about social change, so that they can amplify messages and raise awareness.
In order to lean into the strengths of the existing teams there will be collaboration between vertical brands, with the aim of creating Japan's number one digital creative company. The company will pursue new content formats and revenue from digital content that goes beyond the boundaries of news media. For advertising partners there will be new, wider opportunities with the combined reach.
BuzzFeed, Inc. of the U.S. will be the majority shareholder for the combined company, with Z Holdings, Inc. and Asahi Shimbun Co. also holding stakes.
BuzzFeed is the world's leading tech-powered, diversified media company that reaches hundreds of millions of people globally through its cross-platform news and entertainment network. The company produces articles, lists, quizzes, videos, and original series; lifestyle content through brands including Tasty, the world’s largest social food network; original reporting and investigative journalism through BuzzFeed News and HuffPost; an industry-leading affiliate business, strategic partnerships, licensing and product development through BuzzFeed Commerce; and original productions across broadcast, cable, SVOD, film and digital platforms for BuzzFeed Studios.
About BuzzFeed Japan
Established in 2015 as a joint venture with Yahoo Japan Corporation (now Z Holdings Corporation), BuzzFeed Japan Edition was launched in January 2016. Aiming to create a positive impact on society, BuzzFeed Japan publishes news, culture, and entertainment information in a unique style that includes articles, videos, and features. BuzzFeed has more than 35 million unique visitors per month (December 2020), and more than half of its audience is Millennials.
About HuffPost Japan https://www.huffingtonpost.jp
HuffPost Japan Edition was launched in May 2013 with The Asahi Shimbun as its partner. As a "media that creates conversations," HuffPost Japan has been publishing articles on key themes such as SDGs, work styles, gender equality, diversity, childcare, Chinese economic news, and arts and culture. In addition, we have developed content as a digital creative company that goes beyond just articles, such as "Huff Live", an online live streaming program, "SDGs at Work", a podcast on the theme of SDGs, and content from Instagram, which visualizes news in an easy-to-understand way. We have developed as a digital creative company that is not limited to articles. HuffPost has 24 million unique users (as of April 2020), 320,000 followers on Facebook, 350,000 followers on Twitter, and 3,700 followers on its dedicated SDGs Twitter account.