Scripps is rolling out Genius Kitchen, a social-centric media brand aimed at foodie millennials.The move comes on the heels of huge growth in food video from BuzzFeed and others. Scripps plan echoes recent moves by media companies like CNN and Time Inc. to create media entities that aren’t tied to existing brands.
Food Network is coming for BuzzFeed.
The cable network’s parent company Scripps Networks next month will launch a food-centric media brand that will live primarily on social media, not unlike BuzzFeed’s wildly-popular Tasty brand.
Via Scripps Lifestyle Studios, the new property – Genius Kitchen-will debut with 150 hours of videos aimed at younger, food-obsessed consumers who may or may not have cable subscriptions. The videos will be distributed on Facebook, YouTube, Apple TV, Amazon and Pluto TV.
Genius Kitchen, which won’t carry any Food Network branding, will feature a mix of short-form entertaining food clips, original series, and 500,000 instructional recipe videos, the company said.
That’s a realm where BuzzFeed’s Tasty, along with the digital media company Tastemade have thrived. Over the past few years, short, recipe-centric videos, often featuring an overhead shot of a person’s hands blazing through the making of outrageous desserts or over the top dishes (like cheeseburger onion rings) – have flooded many social media feeds, particularly on Facebook.
Launched in July of 2015, BuzzFeed’s Tasty now has nearly 90 million followers on Facebook.
Rich Lacy, senior vice president, Digital Brand Creative, Scripps Network Interactive, said Genius Kitchen is being birthed in part a recognition of the changing media landscape, particularly for cable giants. Scripps was recently acquired by Discovery Communications for $14.6 billion.
“More recently we’ve been creating content in a different style on the web and we’ve found a whole different audience,” he told Business Insider. For example, a Food Network-produced video for Fancy Philly Cheesesteak generated over 3.6 million views on Facebook in less than 24 hours.
“We’ve been having this much success through this other lens, we thought, ‘what would happen if we created a brand ground up, and aim it at that millennial mindset?’ They grew up in on-demand world, they are really into food, and they like [celebrating good] with other people.”
On that note, Genius Kitchen is rolling out “GK Now,’ a weekly show hosted by YouTube creators Akilah Hughes and Mike Lockyer, which will celebrate off-the-wall food trends and pop culture.
Scripps is planning to take a cautious approach with advertising, as the shows – some of which will run north of 20 minutes – will carry fewer ads than traditional TV. The company is also exploring ways to weave paying sponsors into content. “Knowing that this audience grown up with no rules,” said Lacy. “You have to look at the ad model differently.
Scripps isn’t the only traditional media company trying to nurture distinctive, non-branded content companies. For example, CNN has poured money and resources into Great Big Story, a non-CNN entity focused on adventure and feel good stories.