Scripps Networks to Invest $30M in Data, Digital Content

Scripps Networks Interactive said it would be investing $30 million to $40 million in digital content and data to fuel growth.

Speaking on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call with analysts, Scripps Networks CFO Lori Hickok said the incremental spending would go towards short-form, mobile and millennial focused content for digital platforms, related marketing programs, technology and data collection and analytics.

CEO Ken Lowe said the company has been creating digital content and using data to create 360-degree marketing programs for the past years.

“When we’re looking at these incremental investments, we see a real upside now that I think we have more confidence in probably than ever before,” Lowe said.

The investment could have been more. “At this point in our maturation, we’re very comfortable that this kind of money each year is a good investment in the future of the multiplatform kind of delivery system,” he added.

COO Burton Jablin said that some of the investment was near term and other more long term.

With additional data, “we think if we unlock some of the value in our audiences' buying interest, in actual buying habits that that creates value for advertisers and we can capitalize on that. So this initial data investment is a way to be able to get our arms around it,” Jablin said.

“In terms of the creation of short-form digital content, we make the vast majority of that in-house, very inexpensively," he said. “A relatively small amount of dollars goes a very long way in creating hundreds and hundreds of assets. So I think what we're doing is being very good about capitalizing on the success that we've seen over the last year with our Scripps Lifestyle Studios, but doing it in a measured way. And I expect that we'll continue to see this investment, but we also expect to see some payoff from it in terms of continued growth in digital advertising dollars.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.