BuzzFeed has decided to run banner ads after years of refusing to run the clickable display ads on the publishing site, ahead of its upcoming IPO.
The media company will let advertisers run display ads on its properties through the Facebook Audience Network (FAN) and the Google DoubleClick Ad Exchange. The ads will appear on its homepage, story pages and mobile apps.
This is a bold new direction for BuzzFeed, which had sworn off display advertising since its launch 11 years ago, instead focusing on native content, including quizzes and videos produced on behalf of advertisers.
The move is a bid to tap into its scale and monetise its own-and-operated platforms more effectively, with BuzzFeed historically relying on Facebook and other social media platforms to distribute its content and therefore having to give those players a cut of its ad revenue.
BuzzFeed CEO and founder Jonah Peretti told Business Insider the business finally decided to open its doors to banner ads following advancements in programmatic advertising to deliver highly targeted ads.
The shift comes as the publisher looks to diversify and grow its revenue stream, moving into sponsored video content and e-commerce.
BuzzFeed’s banner-embrace comes as the company is reportedly gearing up to go public in 2018.