BuzzFeed brings Tasty to Japan; Fox Sports brings native ads to the World Series

Here’s what you missed this week if you weren’t reading Digiday. Eat your mind veggies now, before the Halloween sugar bacchanal kicks in. Got your “Stranger Things” costume ready? Here we go:

Tasty has become a massive part of BuzzFeed’s video business. It generated 1.7 million views on Facebook in September, and its videos now average 22.8 million views in the first 90 days, far above other Facebook pages owned by BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed is looking to grow Tasty with new video series like “Tasty Story,” which stars celebrity chefs. The company is also using Tasty to grow other content verticals like Nifty and Goodful.

“Expect to see a lot more Tasty shows in different formats,“ said Ashley McCollum, general manager of Tasty. If it ain’t broke …

Speaking of BuzzFeed
Whether it’s through building a food-porn empire or extending its breaking-news content internationally, the digital publisher has ambitious global expansion plans. This week, founder Jonah Peretti was promoting the company in Japan, which he claims is BuzzFeed’s fastest growing international market. Digiday Japan sat down with Peretti to talk about the struggles that publishers have with monetizing their digital content, BuzzFeed’s reliance on Facebook and that infamous Ivanka Trump tweet.

“The media consumption is moving to these platforms,” Peretti said. “And being a closer partner with them is as important today as it was to be a closer partner with a cable network or satellite TV provider or other forms of distribution that existed in the past.”

Batter up!
Instead of cutting to a mid-inning commercial break in the third inning, Fox Sports ran a T-Mobile-sponsored studio segment during the first game of the World Series. In the segment, Fox Sports analysts talked baseball while T-Mobile received branding and a live read.

“There are so many different ways to see content today and more constraints on people’s time than ever before,” said Mike Denby, svp of ad sales for Fox Sports, in a statement. “It’s important for brands to see how they can break out of the clutter, give the viewer something fresh and in this case, T-Mobile found a unique way to do that.”

Turner and other TV networks are also experimenting with replacing standard commercial breaks with longer native ads. Advertisers are willing to buy — though some don’t want to pay full price.

Chart porn
The Financial Times has found an unlikely outlet for its charts and graphics: Instagram.

A year ago, it had 40,000 followers to its Instagram account. Now, it’s at 286,000, and it’s adding thousands by the day, according to the publisher.

“It’s important to make sure we’re not just joining in with what other publications are doing, that we have our distinct voice and identity,” said Jake Grovum, social media journalist at the FT, pointing out that many publishers get their images from the same newswire service. “That’s why we post things that are not necessarily Instagram-friendly, like a chart on how U.S. and U.K. bonds have performed.

Because, hey, what’s more clickable that bonds?

Snapchat: Down for the view count
View counts on Snapchat have dropped by 15 percent to 40 percent since the platform removed autoplay this month. While it should come as no surprise that Snapchat’s dropping autoplay has led to a decline in views, marketers do not seem to be adjusting their strategies on Snapchat. “We’re not changing our strategy because engagement actually hasn’t decreased for us,” said an online retailer who prefers anonymity. “We’re still seeing the same number of followers who are chatting us directly or taking screenshots of our Snaps.”

Still at influencers on the platform are demoralized by their plummeting view counts. “It’s really difficult to explain to brands why I’ve lost 35 percent of my views on Snapchat,” said Sarah Peretz, who dropped out of college in Florida six months ago to pursue a career as a Snapchat influencer in Los Angeles. “Thirty-five to 50 percent is a self-esteem killer.”

Coming up
Be sure to come back Monday for stories that include a look at why an AT&T-Time Warner merger is unlikely to open the floodgates for targeted TV ads, a reality check on why Trump TV might be an impossible post-election goal for the Republican nominee, and a chat with Pepsi’s CMO on addressing evolving customer demands.

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