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BuzzFeed expands first-party data product Lighthouse to international markets

BuzzFeed, Inc. is expanding its first-party data services suite Lighthouse to international markets in the U.K., Canada, Australia and Latin America.

Lighthouse that allows advertisers to gain access to BuzzFeeds first-party audience data for consumer insights and target ads on its sites will roll out across BuzzFeeds international editions, including licensed ones such as for example Complex Networks U.K. edition, under Manchester-based agency w00t! Media. The original rollout began the other day when BuzzFeed teams started up discussions with advertisers, and the program would be to get campaigns using Lighthouses tools to perform on BuzzFeeds sites starting Sept. 1, said Josh Fromson, BuzzFeeds svp of enterprise and international sales.

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said in the companys first-quarter earnings call in-may that it could spend money on three areas specifically in the years ahead, with Lighthouse being one of these. The info services suite launched in the U.S. in March 2021, and Complex Networks audience data was built-into the suite in April 2022.

Between 50% and 75% of most of BuzzFeeds ad transactions in the U.S. use Lighthouse, a spokesperson said.

So, so how exactly does Lighthouse work? If someone clicks several shopping articles on homewares, the info is grouped across a portfolio of sites and made anonymous for ad targeting. That segment then becomes obtainable in Lighthouse. On Amazon Prime Day, for instance, BuzzFeeds shopping content led to new audience segmentations which are available these days to advertisers, including Amazon Prime Readers, or the 6.3 million people reading anything about Amazon Prime on BuzzFeeds sites.

Lighthouse currently has over 1,000 audience segmentations, such as for example spicy food lovers, sneakerheads and pet parents.

Advertisers may use this data for more information about specific audiences, or inform campaign distribution and audience segmentation to boost campaign performance, based on the company. Lighthouse is built-into media plans, with targeted segments put on line components of a campaign, Fromson said.

It appears like [BuzzFeed has] a fairly considerable presence overseas. I believe thats a good business move ahead their part, said Seth Hargrave, CEO of media buying agency Media Two Interactive. This speaks volumes, with regards to the entire industry trajectory with regards to the creation of additional walled gardens of first-party data.

BuzzFeed said it comes with an audience of 76 million monthly uniques across Latin America, 20 million in the U.K., 13 million in Canada and 9.5 million in Australia. Lighthouse has audience data from 158 million people in the U.S. across BuzzFeed Entertainment, BuzzFeed News, Tasty, HuffPost and Complex Networks, based on the company.

Publishers continuing to pool audience data across their portfolios and providing first-party data options that may reach international audiences helps us as buyers to navigate a few of the complexities of international privacy concerns, such as for example GDPR, Hargrave said.

It offers us a choice thats essentially a safe place for the advertisers which are attempting to navigate those waters. Thats where I start to see the largest benefit, with regards to the scale they can provide sufficient reason for in addition, it being first-party data, he added.

A large section of Lighthouses international launch is centered around Fromson, who joined BuzzFeed through its acquisition of Complex to lead enterprise and agency relationships over the company and streamline international operations by dealing with BuzzFeed, Inc.s heads of sales, content and advertisers in markets outside the U.S.

Complex Canadas operation, for instance, is moving in-house under BuzzFeed Canada, that will gather the foodies from Complexs First We Feast and BuzzFeeds Tasty in Canada under one roof for data and targeting capabilities, Fromson said.

First-party data tools from the publisher like BuzzFeed certainly are a double-edged sword, Hargrave said, because BuzzFeed is creating another walled garden.

As a buyer, you want to have the ability to tear those down and also have visibility across all of the various data sets. So thats where scale is essential to us, he said. The less reliant we have been on third-party cookies and having the ability to combine both contextual options alongside first-party data is really a solid offering and an extremely safe strategy from the buy side.

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