Food Network Adds to App Menu

The Food Network continues to expand its app portfolio with the launch Thursday of Food Network on TV, a significantly revamped update of its Food Network Nighttime app, and the recent launch of the Food Network Cupcakes app, which has 55 cupcake and frosting recipes from the channel's shows and kitchens.

In its app strategy, the company has followed both a free and paid path, though all the apps include some advertising, noted Bob Madden, general manager, VP of online brands for Food Network and the Cooking Channel in an interview.

Its popular In the Kitchen app sells for $1.99 and the new Cupcakes app sells for $2.99, notes Madden, though all the apps, including the paid ones, include some advertising.

In the few weeks since it launched in mid-April, the Cupcakes app has obviously tapped into a sweet spot with users, rising to the third most-popular paid iPad app in the Lifestyle category as of the morning of May 3 while the Food Network In the Kitchen App, which has been near the top of the lifestyle since its launch in December of 2010, currently ranks No. 8.

In contrast to those apps the new Food Network on TV app is free. Unlike the In the Kitchen and Cupcakes apps, which are designed to be used in the kitchen while cooking, "it is really an app for TV viewing to complement their viewing of the channel," he notes.

The app also includes a selection of clips and full-length episodes, recipes and social media integration.