A Mouthwatering New Social Network
:: By Anna Gale, Fueled ::
User generated content has taken on whole new levels of notoriety since the still popular YouTube platform came on the scene. Now, through evolution we’ve gotten industry specific sites such as ModelMayhem for aspiring models, Myspace Music, Soundcloud and Bandcamp for independent artists and now Tastemade is looking to expand its presence in the culinary industry.
Initially hosted on YouTube, Tastemade can now also be viewed on Facebook and Hulu, and has large audiences and interaction on Twitter and Pinterest as well. Tastemade has been active for around two years, and they’ve managed to work their way up to an impressive 18 million unique views a month, have created an app for iOS (coming soon to Android) where foodies can discover and share your passion about food, and even have a studio in Santa Monica where they shoot some of their own original content.
Tastemade recently raised $25 million in new, Series C funding largely at the hands of Scripps Network Interactive (parent company of Food Network), and with additional support from Liberty Media, Redpoint Ventures, Raine Ventures and Comcast Ventures. As part of their newly received funding, Tastemade will also be making room for Brooke Johnson, president of Scripps Network Interactive’s food category.
Tastemade is known for their numerous award winning food-centric shows involving cooking and other related topics, as well as curating content from contributors. One such program, “Thirsty For…” received the 2014 James Beard Award for Broadcast and New Media in video webcast, fixed location and/or instructional category.
In addition to the funds they’ve raised, Tastemade is also considering new revenue and partnership opportunities by producing brand-specific food-related content. One such existing relationship is a show called “Local Flight” which focuses on cocktails and popular vodka maker Grey Goose. Pending the success of this relationship, Tastemade could see an influx of these types of relationships. This has potential for not only credibility from the partnering business, but also the ability to bring Tastemade’s highly interactive viewers into the fold of a brand whose strongest presence may only be in commercial ads and store shelves otherwise.
The majority of this creative fundraising comes from the fact that Tastemade generates revenue from Youtube’s monetization process which, while it may be sufficient for individual Youtube stars, puts a strain on the aspirations of a rapidly growing startup. Thanks to funding from Scripps and the relationships Tastemade has acquired, considerations can now be made for potential partnerships with Food Network. Due to the strength of their Grey Goose success, the groundwork can be laid for standalone income for the budding company.
These days YouTube contributors are being invited to meet the President at the Whitehouse and Vine stars are speaking on CNN and hosting festival style concerts for the teen crowd. The future's looking bright for this niche as there proves to be a budding space for foodies launched from the Internet.
Anna Gale is a marketer at Fueled, the leading iPhone app builder in New York City, renowned for its award winning mobile design and strategy.