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Entertainment winning the internet

Entertainment winning the internet and news returning to the homepage

Many of the biggest digital media companies are being forced to adapt to a new world. This includes a return to news homepages not mixing entertainment with news and that entertainment will win the internet, writes Jonah Peretti, co-founder and CEO of BuzzFeed. He recently announced the closing of Pulitzer prize winning news site BuzzFeed News and is now describing the world that he wants BuzzFeed to adapt to.

“We have left the era of easy growth for media startups. It is harder to build new brands and audiences as media fragments, news becomes more siloed, creators define the voice of media companies, and AI leads to a proliferation of new personalized media formats”, he writes.

“Readers are sick of all the negative news in their social media feeds. The vast majority of people will increasingly want social media platforms to provide an escape where they can find entertainment, joy, and fun.” 

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“Audiences will still want news, they just don’t want it to ruin the fun when they are escaping into entertainment. This will drive a return to the editorially curated news homepage like HuffPost, Drudge, and” 

“Audiences will take more control of when, how, and whether they consume news. Conviction about this prediction is why we wound down BuzzFeed News and are moving some key reporters and editors over to HuffPost where we will be investing in growing an already significant direct audience.” 

“The flip side of my first prediction is that the internet and social platforms will become fun again, the fights and toxicity and culture wars will move to fragmented silos, and popular entertainment will reign.” 

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“As a result, the only profitable, sustainable content businesses that can be built on top of the big platforms will be focused on entertainment.” 

“BuzzFeed entertainment has more than 2x the audience of Vice and Vox and almost 10x the audience of BuzzFeed News, which only represented about 5% of our total audience”, he writes explaining the closing of celebrated BuzzFeed News.

Among his other predictions is that generative AI will kill the majority of static content in the near future. 

“Audiences will begin to expect all content to be personalized, interactive, dynamic, with embedded intelligence. Formats that were developed before the AI-revolution, and many of the formats and conventions of the media industry will need to be updated and adapted, or begin to feel stale and outdated.” 

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