By Sahil Patel
Tastemade is expanding to the biggest screen in the house. The digital food network, which so far has been available on YouTube and on iOS and Android devices, recently launched an app on the Roku connected-TV platform.
Available on all Roku devices, the app offers access to original food and travel series from Tastemade, including “Thirsty For,” “Local Flight,” “Raw.Vegan.Not Gross,” “Day Tripper,” “City Guides,” and “Featured Tastemakers.” The programming is organized into multiple playlists with each focusing on individual shows and genres. For instance, there’s a playlist for all “Thirsty For” videos, as well as a playlist for all cooking shows from Tastemade.
The app also features “In the Kitchen,” a series of video tutorials that offer step-by-step instructions to make your favorite dishes.
And with the expansion to the TV screen, Tastemade’s Roku app includes Tastemade TV, which streams all of the network’s programming on a continuous loop for a more lean-back viewing experience.
The launch on Roku is just the latest step in Tastemade’s ongoing plans to expand its reach among its core audience — millennials — wherever they might be watching video content, says Oren Katzeff, head of programming at the network.
This can be evidenced by where Tastemade has expanded to in the past few months alone. The network is a launch partner for both Vessel, the upcoming short-form video service from former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, and Milk Video, the recently launched mobile video service from Samsung.
“We will continue to explore additional options to distribute our content on the platforms that we know our audience exists on,” says Katzeff.
And as Tastemade expands, it will also explore ways to create and window content for new distribution platforms, adds the company’s programming executive. For instance, Tastemade has a deal with Samsung to create original content for Milk Video. “Depending on the opportunity and partner, we are certainly open to creating original content that lives exclusively on that platform, either for a limited period of time or just for the launch, and then distribution elsewhere from there,” says Katzeff.
This includes, by the way, platforms owned and operated by Tastemade, which, like other digital networks, is testing a subscription model. The Tastemade Plus service offers early access to new programming as well as longer versions of existing shows and other bonus footage.
Priced at $4.99 per month, the service is ad free. Those who download the Tastemade app on Roku can choose to subscribe to Tastemade Plus. Those who don’t will still get to watch videos on the Tastemade app, though they’ll have to sit through ads.
Right now, advertising on the Roku app is being handled by Roku, which will share revenue generated from those placements. Tastemade is focused on growing the Roku app, which it plans to market “hand-in-hand” with Roku starting in 2015, according to Katzeff.