Today, Tastemade debuted “One for the Road,” a solo travel series built around some of Tastemade’s “Tastemakers.” And that debut happened exclusively on Snapchat Discover. The company has also announced it will produce 7 other original projects, three of which will roll out exclusively on Snapchat — “All the Pizza,” “8-Bit Cooking School,” and “Alice in Paris.” Tastemade, which pulls over 1.5 billion monthly views across its channels, has historically focused on food-related content. However, the latest slate reflects a more diverse approach to genre and formats, both of which factored into Tastemade’s decision to optimize for Snapchat as well as other platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
“At the end of the day, the way we feel about all content is that we want to entertain our audience. We want them to have an experience that is relatable, and view and share and comment on it,” said programming chief Oren Katzeff. “The shows that we have done in the past, or even our day to day Snapchat program, for example, we have [shown us] the personalities, and style that our audience really gets excited about, so we borrowed some pages from that playbook into our decision making process when creating these shows.”
It’s been a common approach to use data to inform distribution strategy. The team behind “Burning Love” at Yahoo!, for instance, claimed data helped inform the show back in 2012. Netflix also touted the same for “House of Cards” and Amazon has long-relied on data as part of its greenlighting process. The same has held true for Tastemade and its audience on Snapchat.
“[Many] of these shows were not 100% driven by the data but our data factors in to make them. Then you want to have some art and gut and experience that helps your decision making process. In terms of style, length and quality or content, a lot of those decisions are guided by data that amassed and accumulated over years across all these platforms,” added Katzeff.
And that data showed that Tastemade could offer a way to reward the dedicated, appointment-viewing audience that resides on Snapchat. Katzeff notes that this has been a crucial part of the decision to release content first on Snapchat versus their owned and operated properties, including the app and www.tastemade.com. The fact that content disappears after 24 hours on Snapchat is a selling point for Tastemade. Viewers who “tune-in” are rewarded with the episodes and have a dedicated reason to return to Tastemade’s Snapchat on the reg.
“What I find to be both exciting and a challenge is you don’t hear a lot about shows being launched on Snapchat,” said Katzeff. “You see a lot of videos being created, a lot of articles, you see a lot of high quality content, but the notion of trying to create shows and have a show-based experience in the platform is somewhat new.”
And so Tastemade again adds a layer of sophistication to how they approach the roll-out of their programming. Most will be self-funded, with an option for brands to support in creative ways that don’t equate to traditional “branded entertainment” structures. But the shows that roll out on Snapchat will be consumed much in the way of old-school television. Those who tune in to later “episodes” will have the option to catch earlier episodes on other platforms, in later windows.
In this way, Tastemade is building currency amongst its users and that currency is the IP they are developing to satisfy the audience on each particular platform. And once it establishes its own markers for success, Katzeff says Tastemade will be able to better value the IP for cascading windows as well as optimize each series for other platforms. In many cases, that means creating ancillary or customized content, while in others it means simply duping the episodes to another home.
Katzeff cites “Grand Opening,” an 8-episode series that brings Aussie Guy Turland to SoCal to revive a struggling restaurant, as an example of a show that will be bulk released across all of Tastemade’s channels. And despite Tastemade’s diversification in distribution strategy and formats, Snapchat plays a significant role in the big picture for the brand.
“Part of what’s exciting about the slate,” Katzeff explains, “is that we’re really making some sort of effort to introduce the element of a show that’s native to Snapchat. We’re releasing shows, that are native to Snapchat and that excite our audience the same way that our stand alone videos do.”
Tastemade’s New Slate Includes:
One For the Road: An ensemble of Tastemade’s most adventurous travelers take on the world in this solo travel series. Each Tastemaker tastes, experiences and explores every corner of the globe, going where they want, when they want without compromise.
Alice in Paris: Alice in Paris is a short-form, scripted series where we follow an energetic young woman through the streets of Paris to find the best food and places in a city she knows like the back of her hand, but can still easily get lost in it.
All the Pizza: If host, Carlo, was on a desert island his one food choice would be pizza. A series dedicated to the love, passion, and obsession behind pizza.
The Tale of Kitto Katto: Did you know that Japan has over 100 flavors of Kit Kats? The Tale of Kitto Katto features host Emmy Cho eating her way across Japan on a quest to discover Japan’s unique Kit Kat flavors. From Tokyo’s rum raisin flavored treats to Shizuoka’s wasabi fields, Emmy unwraps each region with a trip to the source of these unique flavors.
Grand Opening — Bondi Harvest: Guy Turland, famous restauranteur in Australia is coming to the States to make his mark. Watch how he grabs inspiration from the pockets of Southern California to flip a dilapidated cafe into an amazing local hangout.
All-Nighter: All food tastes better after midnight. In All-Nighter, we’ll explore the best late-night eats, bars and everything in between in a journey that takes place exclusively between late night and sunrise.
Food Court: Sometimes, debates over food can’t easily be settled between two people. If you’re in a dispute with another party on topics such as Dunkin’ Donuts vs. Krispy Kreme or which U.S. city creates the most mouth watering pizza, don’t take matters into your own hands. Take them to court. Food Court.
8-Bit Cooking School: A nostalgic series that brings back the 8-bit animation style we know and love. 8-Bit Cooking School follows the travels of a chef and his quest to capture ingredients all over the world and fight off bad guys as he prepares his 8-Bit meal.