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BuzzFeed Launches Free Video Apps

BuzzFeed, which has seen huge play for its video content on YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and other platforms, is moving to capture more of that audience with its own mobile video apps.

The BuzzFeed Video apps for Android and Apple iOS initially will not carry any ads. However, “We anticipate monetizing down the line with our native advertising offering,” a BuzzFeed rep said.

Currently, BuzzFeed publishes its video content to more than 30 platforms. Now, for the first time, the new-media company has developed its own proprietary video player designed to let users binge-watch videos with autoplay.

“We’re excited about native apps because we can provide deep experiences that aren’t always possible on the Web,” a BuzzFeed spokeswoman said. “Providing rich features like notifications, personalization and content exclusivity can bring huge enhancements to the video experience.”

New York-based BuzzFeed has placed a significant emphasis on video content and distribution, and today video accounts for roughly half its 5 billion monthly content views. Last summer NBCUniversal invested $200 million in the company, and in 2014 it created BuzzFeed Motion Pictures to develop a range of original content spanning short-form clips to potentially feature-length films.

In January 2016, BuzzFeed’s Tasty food network hit 3.2 billion views on Facebook alone — blowing past the previous billion-view monthly high-water mark for any publisher on any platform — according to research firm Tubular Labs. The next biggest video creator was Justin Bieber with 962 million views for the month, mostly on YouTube.

The BuzzFeed Video apps will include popular shows including the Try Guys, Broke, Violet and Tasty. Users can subscribe to their favorite shows and get alerts when new videos come out, in some cases before they have been distributed elsewhere “as we experiment with windowing content,” the BuzzFeed rep said.

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