ANGELES — Julie Nolke, a cook and host on the digital
food and travel channel Tastemade, had just finished
filming her amped-up take on the Canadian favorite
poutine — a mess of crispy fries smothered with cheese
curds, bacon and gravy, spiked with beer and maple
it was time for the editing team to start stirring,
cutting the footage different ways to get the video in
front of as many eyeballs as possible — wherever they
clip had to be cropped vertically to fit mobile screens
on Snapchat. Another version had to be edited down to a
couple of minutes to capture fickle viewers on Facebook’s
news feed. Lastly, the segment had to be distilled into
a few attention-grabbing seconds to play on Twitter and
are the new rules of distribution in the increasingly
crowded world of online video. When Tastemade launched
in 2012, YouTube was mostly the only platform the
so-called multichannel network had to focus on. Now,
staying ahead requires blasting your content across the
dozens of video players battling for market share.
why the Los Angeles-area media company — likened to a
Food Network for the digital age — tailors its cooking
demonstrations and travel adventures for Apple TV,
YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Spotify,
Twitter, Vessel, Roku and Comcast Watchable.
casting a wide net, Tastemade leverages rising
competition in the digital video landscape to capture
the broadest audience available. That’s helped the
company establish itself at a time when old media is
looking for key investments to stay relevant.
is Phase 2" of the online video industry’s
development, said Peter Csathy, a streaming video expert
and chief executive of Manatt Digital Media, a
consulting and venture capital firm. "Multichannel
networks are becoming multiplatform networks."
it all are young viewers who are increasingly likely to
watch content on their cellphones rather than a
television plugged into the wall. About 75 percent of
all Facebook videos and more than half of all YouTube
videos are now viewed on mobile devices.
are adapting accordingly. Digital video will fetch $7.8
billion in ad spending this year, up from $5.8 billion
last year, according to EMarketer.
number will double to more than $14 billion by 2019. Ad
spending on TV, meanwhile, will grow about 3.5 percent
to $81 billion over the same period, EMarketer said.
stay abreast of the change, traditional entertainment
companies such as NBCUniversal have sought to increase
their digital video presence and know-how by investing
in rising brands such as BuzzFeed.
CNN and the Food Network are reaching millennials on
Snapchat’s Discover feature, where publishers can post
videos and stories each day.
in the third inning of a massive shift in dollars from
TV to online video," said Chad Gutstein, chief
executive of Machinima, a digital channel similar to
Tastemade but focused on video gaming and comic culture.
"A tsunami of money is starting to flow."
led to the rapid proliferation of platforms and
distributors of video, a trend not unlike the emergence
of cable and satellite television networks decades
least two of those platforms, Facebook and Snapchat, are
already generating 4 billion daily video views. They’ve
also introduced new products to lure advertisers and
content creators. That’s raised expectations that the
collection of tech giants, led by Google’s YouTube,
will eventually clash.
the biggest name to join the video gold rush, has
already demonstrated how it can disrupt the industry’s
YouTube-centric status quo.
social media giant had to defuse a controversy this year
over freebooting, a phenomenon in which YouTube videos
were being uploaded natively onto Facebook rather than
being linked back to YouTube.
triggered anger among YouTube stars, who complained that
they weren’t getting credit for views and the
advertising revenue that comes with it. In response,
Facebook introduced technology in August that’s aimed
at identifying and ultimately stopping instances of
video ambitions remain large. In July, the social media
site with 1.5 billion active monthly users started
experimenting with splitting ad revenue with video
creators — just like YouTube does. That was followed
by new features such as streaming video for celebrities,
360-degree video and word last month that it was testing
a news feed exclusively for video.
question, Facebook is seen as a direct threat" to
YouTube, Csathy of Manatt said. "But that will lead
to more experimentation and more choice, which is great
for the consumer.
which marked its 10th anniversary this year, announced
an ad-free subscription service last month called
YouTube Red. The service includes access to exclusive
content made by some of the site’s biggest stars, such
as PewDiePie and Lilly Singh.
many analysts and industry officials have downplayed the
competition for now, saying the space is too new to
fight over while opportunities abound. Advertisers, they
reason, are likely to spread their spending across
platforms rather than choose just one.
we think it’s bad that Facebook is potentially
entering the video ecosystem? No. It’s a great thing
for video overall because one company cannot build an
entire industry itself," said Jamie Byrne, Director
of YouTube Creators.
other people enter the online video landscape, the
important thing to remember is this is not a finite pie
of viewership or ad dollars that we’re carving up with
new entrants," he said. "We’re incredibly
early in the history of video, and it’s growing."
company reported in the second quarter that video ads
had increased 40 percent from a year earlier and that
average spending by its top 100 advertisers had
increased 60 percent over the same period.
said brands like Tastemade and Machinima should
distribute their shows as widely as possible to
diversify revenue the same way Hollywood does with
box-office receipts, television licensing and DVD sales.
so, he said, doesn’t change his belief that YouTube
will remain the home base for the vast digital video
community — a place where almost everyone got their
certainly the case with Tastemade, whose founders saw
opportunity in starting a niche network for millennials
geared toward mobile video. About 60 percent of
Tastemade’s audience is 18 to 34, many of whom are
reached on Snapchat Discover.
started this company thinking there would be a new
generation of channels that would live on digital
platforms," co-founder Larry Fitzgibbon said.
"And someone would need to create them and build a
brand around them. What’s exciting for us is that we’re
starting to see that come together."
has been at the core of their strategy. Tastemade has
curated over 5,000 hours of licensed video made by
amateur talent discovered on the massive video site. A
sprawling map painted onto the wall of the company’s
headquarters illustrates with head shots and names
exactly where the channel’s 1,000 contributors are
around the globe.
like having a studio in the cloud," said
Fitzgibbon, who is one of three co-founders at the
has yet to make a profit but has raised more than $40
million through investors, including Scripps Networks,
owner of the Food Network and the Cooking Channel).
also produces dozens of original shows such as
"Raw. Vegan. Not Gross" and "Thirsty
For," which demonstrates how to make drinks from
various countries. The program is shot deliberately to
show only the ingredients and drink preparer’s hands.
No words are spoken. The recipe is displayed across the
screen in text, which can be translated into several
languages depending on which market the show is
a winning formula for Facebook, which is where Tastemade
garners one of its widest international audiences. As
much as Tastemade is still anchored to YouTube, it is on
Facebook that the company has experienced some of the
most dramatic changes.
was selected to participate in Facebook’s new ad
revenue sharing model, and it was invited to work with
Facebook Anthology, an advertising program that partners
content creators with Facebook’s creative department
to produce content for brands.
Facebook page has gone from a few hundred thousand
"likes" in 2014 to more than 3.7 million and
counting. The upswing has been helped by a steady flow
of new content to the page, which is uploaded natively
rather than sitting on YouTube’s servers. After that,
Tastemade can sit back and watch Facebook’s algorithm
and users fan its content around the world.
is set up for sharing," Fitzgibbon said.
"People aren’t just watching our content; they’re
deeply engaging with it. And that’s a unique aspect of
their platform. All these different platforms have
something unique going for them."