A+E Networks’ FYI taps PureWow for food video

TV networks have been teaming up with digital publishers, hoping to tap into their often-younger audiences as their own viewers age. That’s led to investments by NBCU in BuzzFeed and Vox Media, and Vice deals with HBO and A+E Networks, to name a couple.

Along those lines, A+E Networks is tapping PureWow, a women’s lifestyle startup, to produce a dozen 45-second recipe videos for FYI, A+E’s 2-year-old lifestyle channel. The videos are appearing on the channel’s food series, “Man vs. Child: Chef Showdown,” where precocious kid cooks challenge established chefs in the kitchen. 45th & Dean, A+E’s multiplatform studio and agency, provided input for the videos, which tackle subjects like how to candy bacon, butcher a chicken and temper chocolate. They began airing June 21 and also will live on PureWow’s site.

A+E was drawn to PureWow for its understanding of how to create content for multiple platforms, slightly quirky voice and young, upscale audience; PureWow’s average visitor is aged 33 while FYI’s is 48.

Video, whether for digital or TV, is hard to do, especially for publishers that don’t have a long track record of doing it. As for linear video, it demands higher production quality than digital, and like any platform, has its own sensibility.

“It’s very platform-dependent,” said Paul Greenberg, evp and GM of FYI and head of 45th & Dean. “A Snapchat story is very different from a Facebook video. With linear, you’re really catering to people who are in a much more lean-back mindset and may be watching from one longform to another longform content. So the short form has to complement and feel like the longform programming.”

And there’s so much food video out there, PureWow’s had to feel different. So while PureWow’s FYI shorts may resemble the frenetic hands-in-bowls, shot-from-above food videos that have exploded on Facebook, they’re “a little more relaxed,” Greenberg said. “They do a nice job in not making it feel cramped.”

PureWow is one of those pure-digital publishers that came out of nowhere and built an audience of 6.4 million uniques (comScore multiplatform uniques, June) in six years on the back of how-tos and lifestyle content aimed at women 25-49. While other publishers have raised a ton of venture capital, PureWow has only raised $5 million, so it can’t afford to invest tons on every new platform out there. One of the bets it has been placing is on video. The 60-person company has eight people on video who are on track to produce 12 short-form videos a week, said Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow.

Harwood said his company doesn’t receive any ad revenue from the deal, but does get the chance to learn about TV and exposure. (A+E wouldn’t disclose terms of the deal.)

“It’s a great brand awareness play for PureWow, and it’s a great way to dip our toe in the water of TV,” Harwood said.

Image courtesy of PureWow.


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