The U.K., Brazil, France, Australia, India, Germany, Mexico, Canada — we’re on a roll with expanding BuzzFeed globally. Even more exciting, we just pulled the latest numbers: In July, 45% of our traffic came from outside the U.S. This is huge! Continuing this growth and expansion is a top priority for us — right alongside our investments in News and Buzz from Australia to Brazil to London.
To put another pin on our world map, we’re launching BuzzFeed Japan by partnering with Yahoo! JAPAN on a joint venture. Yahoo! JAPAN is the dominant digital force in Japan, reaching almost every Japanese internet user.
We’ve been really successful with the wholly owned and operated, organic-growth model we’ve used for launches in other countries, but in Japan we want to open with a partner who can help accelerate our growth. This is why a joint venture makes the most sense. 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. Yahoo! JAPAN is a perfect fit because it is a pure-play digital company untethered to the legacy constraints of traditional media. We have many of the same philosophies and approaches.
To get into the nitty-gritty on the details, we’ll provide the joint venture with BuzzFeed’s brand, proprietary technology platform, and philosophy and process for developing editorial content and native advertising. Yahoo! JAPAN will advise the joint venture on cultural matters, drive traffic to BuzzFeed Japan, and own the sales channel to bring BuzzFeed Japan to market. Scott Lamb, vice president of international, is in the process of bringing on an editor-in-chief to build out a local team in Tokyo. Anne Hogarty, vice president of international business, and I are also initiating a search to find a CEO for the joint venture. This person will lead the joint venture and report to a board of directors controlled by BuzzFeed — with representation from Yahoo! JAPAN.
BuzzFeed Japan will be a BuzzFeed URL, and we’ll own a majority share of the joint venture. This means we’ll have editorial and creative independence coupled with Yahoo! JAPAN’s expertise on localizing content for Japanese audiences.
As we continue to grow, smart partnerships will be increasingly important. They allow us to reach more people and have more impact. I’m very excited about the creation of BuzzFeed Japan, and even more proud of the incredible work you all do that allows us to continue to grow and expand.