Buzznet’s strategy is unapologetically think-big. Founded in 2005, the Los Angeles-based company counts veteran execs from Yahoo and Time Inc. among its upper ranks.
“Our goal is to build the world’s biggest and best music experience and then to do the same thing in other pop culture topics,” Goldman explained. Instead of starting from a grassroots following, the way MySpace did as a hub for independent band promotion, Buzznet wants to break out at the top by scoring high-profile investors, tasty acquisitions, and powerful partnerships. The company is rumored to have roped in about $25 million in venture funding, with one of the reported investors Universal Music’s Interscope. (Goldman declined to comment on that.)
And Goldman said that next week, Buzznet will make the first of a number of partnership announcements designed to get more audio content on the site. When asked if that meant a record label deal, Goldman replied. “That’s a logical assumption.”
UPDATE: Silicon Alley Insider:
One other thing Tyler wants to clear up: His site isn’t looking to use the $25 million it just raised to go and buy a bunch of music blogs. But that’s what a bunch of music bloggers think he’s trying to do.
You can see why they might be confused. Tyler has bought music blog Stereogum, for something like $5 million dollars. And someone at Buzznet—it’s not clear who—has been sending out notes like the one below (first published at The Daily Swarm) to various bloggers.
To us that reads a bit like a potential acquisition query. Or more likely, an offer to join some sort of ad network. But Tyler, who says he’s not exactly familiar with the letter, says Buzznet isn’t interested in either type of deal. The Stereogum thing was one-off, he says. And “we’re not interested in representing 5,10, 15 sites and selling their ads. That’s not our business.” Instead, he says, Buzznet wants to build—you guessed it—“communities”.
Pop culture-focused social media site Buzznet, based in Los Angeles, has raised a big-ish third round of funding, as much as $25 million, we have learned, and that Universal Music-owned Interscope has invested a few million in it. We haven’t been able to confirm the other investors, but last year the company raised about $6 million led by Redpoint Ventures and Anthem Venture Partners. The previous investors might have put some of the new money as well.
The site’s primary focus is on music and offers related blogs, videos, photo-sharing and band-related features. In particular, Buzznet has struck alliances with indie bands by promoting specific online community channels for them. The company has also been working with established popstars, like Avril Lavigne.
Also, recently, investors Bob Pittman, of the Pilot Group and Sling Media’s Jason Hirschhorn traded their equity stakes in the influential indie music blog Stereogum for an ownership percentage of BuzzNet. We have confirmed through sources that Buzznet now fully owns Stereogum. Not sure how this plays into the new funding, but the financing may be used in making some other music and entertainment related content acquisitions and possibly rollups, our sources say.
UPDATE: A Daily Swarm reader writes, “New money or not, I can tell you that Buzznet has already tried to buy many popular music blogs.”
I just wanted to follow up. My name XXXXX XXXXX and I am contacting you in representation of Buzznet.com. Buzznet is the fastest growing social media site on the Internet “showing phenomenal growth——with traffic surges of 405%. With nearly 15,000,000 monthly uniques and 80,000,000 monthly page views Buzznet is a powerhouse of technological, programming, marketing and advertising sales strength.
As an established leader in media we have had tremendous success in helping our partners grow their respective brands (in seven months we have managed to take Just Jared from 7M to over 45M page views with a dramatic increase of revenue from high profile Fortune 500 advertisers.)
The reason I am contacting you is because I would like to provide you with a great opportunity in partnering with us. I feel you have a great site and a great brand that upholds the image Buzznet.com is trying to maintain. I think we can drive serious page-view growth for you.
Attached is an MNDA form. If you are interested fill it out and send it back to me then we can set up a phone conference. You can either email it back or fax it to XXX.XXX.XXXX. If you fax it email me first so I can grab it before it gets lost.
No pressure, but I hope you see this is a great opportunity.
Hope to hear from you soon.