Food Network Serves Up New Apps

Food Network is looking to satisfy viewer
appetites with two new apps, offered on Apple’s iTunes
online store, that extend the viewer’s experience with the
network’s popular programming beyond the boob tube.

Food earlier this month launched a recipe-based app
for fans of its Cupcake Wars original reality series for iPad
users, as well as a video-rich iPhone app dubbed “On TV”
that offers clips and long-form programming from several
Food Network shows. The two apps join the recipe-heavy
“In the Kitchen” app as part of an overall suite of alternative
platform offerings that help broaden the Food Network
brand beyond the linear channel.

“It’s really important for us to enable our fans to consume
our content
wherever they
might be, whether
they are at home
watching TV, in
front of their laptop,
or on the bus
commut ing and
they want to watch
some video,” said
Leora Schachter,
vice president of
digital st rategy
and planning for
Scripps Networks.

Food Network’s
“Cupcakes!” app,
which launched
April 19 and retails
for $2.99, extends
the network’s Cupcake
by offering more
than 100 cupcake
and frosting recipes
to help people
make creative cupcakes. Schachter said the series has a
loyal and large viewer base — Cupcake Wars averaged a
series high 1.7 million viewers in its just completed fifth
season — and the app reinforces the show’s appeal to
sweet-toothed viewers.

Schachter added that the app also serves as a promotional
tie-in to the network’s new series Cupcake Champions,
which was scheduled to launch last night (May 13).

“It is one of our most popular shows on our air — this
year we’re showing Cupcake Champions, so there’s a really
great tie in, and we know we have a great fan base out
there who’s always looking for more content about cupcakes,”
she said. “We really want to help all people in the
kitchen, but we know people who are superfans of cupcakes
— not only their own fans who watch the show but
just bakers out there who want to have an app that brings
out the inspiration.”

The On TV app, formerly called “Nighttime App,” is the
network’s entertainment-based app featuring video content
from its hottest shows, Schachter said. The app, which
launched May 3, currently touts the season-eight premiere
of the Food Network Star reality competition series on May
13 with video clips from previous seasons as well as information
on the show’s host and contestants.

“There’ll be short-form as well as long-form video, so
if you want to catch up on content that you might have
missed, or see
some behindthe-
videos that we
have on the
site, you can
catch it on
your mobile
phone,” she

Along with
giving viewers
more information
about their favorite
added that the
apps help expose
the network
to male
viewers that
don’t ordinarily
tune into the

“Our audience is primarily female, but because the
[iTunes] platform skews more male, it gives us a chance
to talk to them,” she said. “Food is becoming more popular
— it’s not just moms cooking dinner — so we’re seeing
that changing and shifting, especially on mobile and digital
where it’s a different environment.”

Food would not say how many downloads either of the
Food iTunes apps have generated since their launch.

Schachter said the network will look to launch other
subscription-based iTunes apps — many tied to the holidays
— as companion offerings for its on-air content.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.