Regarding Brexit, many outlets said only 36% of young people came out to vote. This information was based on data compiled from the previous general election, which looked at the proportion within each generation who said they always vote.
An LSE poll showed youth turnout was around 64% of registered voters. However the over-65s voted in exceptionally high numbers: 90% turnout!
As you say, a startup-like approach to measurement has been a priority from the start. Buzzfeed created a dashboard to help journalists care about performance. They maintain laser focus on how, when and where content is shared; and by whom. They also monitor performance across the platforms – and the cascade effect between them.
Content is also optimised for distribution. Before publishing, every story is previewed on a mobile and social platforms. Sites have been established in the U.K., Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico. Each has local autonomy with a degree of global coordination. Content is not simply translated for each market – it is created organically for the local audience. But learnings are shared globally.
In terms of org structure, Buzzfeed sees rigid hierarchies as the enemy of creativity. Positions are intentionally fluid and open. Some teams are reorganised every few months to keep things fresh and circulate knowledge.