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Tastemade Expanding Into Home and Travel Categories

Tastemade, one of the leaders in creating mobile and social video about food, is expanding into two additional lifestyle categories, home and travel.

The company plans to produce 150 hours of original programming for the two new categories aimed at millennial viewers.

It named Amanda Dameron, former editor in chief of Dwell Magazine as head of Tastemade Home and announced that Zillow and Target have signed on as sponsors.

By branching from food into home and travel, Tastemade seems to be following the recipe created by Scripps Networks Interactive, whose cable networks include HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel.

Scripps is an investor in Tastemade, but it is also sometimes a competitor, says Larry Fitzgibbon, co-founder and CEO of Tastemade.

“There’s obviously existing channels that I think either live in more traditional television or in print, but those product are geared toward older audiences, or at least seemingly are connecting with older audiences,' Fitzgibbon says. “The idea here is to create really compelling video storytelling and episodic series and premium content but for this younger, millennial audience that’s spending all their time on these social platforms.”

Related: Nielsen Says Millennials Are Big-Time Streamers

Fitzgibbon sees the current media environment as similar to the early day of cable. But these days, young viewers are leaving TV and spending more time on social platforms and consuming content there.

Tastemade has 200M viewers each month around the globe and they stream about 2.5 billion views.

“The way we reach our audience is largely on the world's biggest social platforms, whether that's Facebook or Instagram or YouTube or Twitter,” he said. Tastemade also has a Discover channel on Snapchat.

“We’ve done a good job over the last five years really building the brand and connecting with an audience as well as a good set of advertisers,” he says.

Fitzgibbon had been a co-founder of Demand Media, which went public in 2011. When they were looking for what to do next, “It made sense to focus on passion areas for us and we were hyper focused on food.”

“More importantly we saw all these trends in media, like social and mobile and this instant global world we live in and we thought that if we put those together we would come up with a big idea,” he said. “So far so good.”

Fitzgibbon says there’s a lot of interest from Tastemade’s younger consumers in the home category. He notes that nearly half of all homebuyers are millennials and close to 75% of new home buyers are millennials.

“It’s a huge audience. But most of the content now is connecting with older audience. We think we can take a fresh approach, create some original programming on the platforms where these people are spending their time and create an engaging audience,” he says.

As for travel, Fitzgibbon said that some of Tastemade’s shows were already touching the travel category as told viewers about food around the world. “We though it made more sense to super serve them with their own channel,” he says.

Three of the first shows for Tastemade Home are being created for Zillow. Those shows are: 1 Room, Different Ways, in which one space could be transformed four separate ways; Spotlight, which gives an insider’s tour of the kinds of home viewers dream about; and Big Ideas, Small Spaces, which shows the tricks to make the most of any home.

“Zillow is a perfect launch partner for Tastemade Home and together we’re leveraging its innovative brand to provide insightful and inspiring entertainment,” added Melissa Drucker, head of global sales and brand partnerships at Tastemade.

Tastemade’s first original travel series, In the Shadows of, showcase 10 of the world’s most famous landmarks and tell stories of people who in the vicinity.  Travel’s original content will include episodic programming, a bucket-list countdown Do Before you Die, plus travel tip and tricks.

Tastemade Travel doesn’t have any launch sponsors, but the company has worked with companies like Airbnb before, Fitzgibbon says. “There’s an endemic advertiser base that would be excited to connect with those consumers.”

Based in Santa Monica, Calif., Tastemade is funded by Redpoint Ventures, Raine Ventures, Comcast Venture, Liberty Media, Scripps Networks Interactive and Goldman Sachs.


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