INHD’s Got Its Mojo Working

Rob Jacobson

For HD viewers looking for something different, there’s INHD1 and INHD2 operated by cable operators. The latest offering? A new programming block on INHD1 called Mojo. that focuses on high-end cuisine, spirits, finance music and adventurous travel. Rob Jacobson, president and CEO of INHD, spoke with HD Update prior to a screening of After Hours with Daniel, a new program hosted by top chef Daniel Boulud.

Q. How did you come up with Mojo?

A It was pretty easy. When you looked at who is watching HD it’s largely upscale men that are largely underserved on television. And Mojo is the first network named geared toward that group of people.

Q. What are you aiming to do with it?

A. It’s really a way to speak to those consumers and have advertisers speak to them. And I think we can do it better than anyone else.

Q. You mention Mojo being a network. Is that what it will become?

A. Originally Mojo will be a branded block of programming that will be on twice a week, four hours a night. But we’re very bullish and optimistic so if it catches on the way we think it will the channel could transfer over to Mojo.

Q. So does that mean you have a Wojo in the works for women?

A. Well we aren’t excluding women from Mojo. In fact, women love food. And a show like After Hours with Daniel women will be able to identify with it as much as men. But when we did research on who our audience is it turned out that it was early adopters of HD who happen to be men.

Q. What’s your perception of where the HD marketplace stands in 2006?

A. This is the first year where the sale of HD flat panels will outpace regular TV sets. So whatever that tipping point is we’re there. The explosion of growth is here and I think one of the reasons we looked at Mojo and tried to create differentiation in the category is that HD won’t be a novelty but rather mandatory. And when that happens it won’t be about technology but rather about the programming.

Q. You mentioned advertising. When HD was first on the horizon it was envisioned that because HD was hitting the upscale male demo you talk about that companies like Mercedes Benz and upscale advertisers would find HD attractive. But that never happened. When does HD catch on as an ad medium?

A. We’re getting there. When you look at the advertisers and categories we’ve secured its high-end auto and consumer manufacturers and high-end alcohol. Many times the advertising community doesn’t have HD equipment so they can’t see the difference. It’s an education process and we’re still at a point where most ads aren’t produced in HD. But when you look at the number of advertisers now in HD its growth is tracking along with the number of people who have HD. So it’s starting. When HD penetration hits 40 million, which I think it will in the next two years, you’ll see some critical mass.

--Interviewed by Ken Kerschbaumer