Digital only represented 4% of overall consolidated revenue for Scripps Networks Interactive in 2013, but the network is making a big commitment to the space with the launch of 150 original online series this year, some of which were unveiled at a NewFronts presentation in New York on Wednesday, hosted by Bert Kreischer of Travel Channel’s Trip Flip.
What sets Scripps apart from other companies launching lifestyle programming at the NewFronts is the ability to throw the weight of their TV brands behind their digital series.
“There’s not another media company that can surround a consumer with our brand the way we do,” said Beth Lawrence, EVP digital ad sales at Scripps Networks International, whose brands include HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network and the digital platform Ulive, which launched in October of last year.
Most of the personalities toplining Scripps’ new shows, such as Property Brothers (HGTV) hosts Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott, and rappers-turned-reality stars Vanilla Ice and Rev Run of Run DMC, already have built-in followings thanks to their TV series.
In HGTV.com’s Toddler vs. Toddler, the Scott brothers mentor separate teams of toddlers in what is being billed as “the ultimate renovation rivalry.”
Rev Run and his wife Justine Simmons entertain audiences from their New Jersey home in the DIY Network’s new online series Rev & Justine (pictured).
Real estate entrepreneur and ’90s pop icon Vanilla Ice (real name: Rob Van Winkle) will take his successful home remodeling act seen on the DIY cable channel’s The Vanilla Ice Project to DIYNetwork.com in Ice Goes Digital.
TravelChannel.com, which had 73 million visits last year, announced nine new original web series, as well as four returning shows, including A Day in the Life and Host’s Hometown, which go behind the scenes with various Travel Channel hosts, including Kreischer (Trip Flip), Adam Richman (Man Finds Food) and Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods America).
Scripps’ premium lifestyle video portal Ulive will roll out more than 50 new and returning series this year, including new episodes of HGTV host and interior designer Sabrina Soto’s Secrets of a Super Aunt and Yoga Rebel, starring Tara Stiles.
Ulive also announced distribution partnerships with Yahoo and MSN and Twitter Amplify. Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2014, premium video content will be tweeted during live broadcasts of shows like Guy’s Grocery Games and Cutthroat Kitchen, when social media engagement for that audience is highest.
New Ulive series include:
- Food for Dudes – Cousins (and HGTV personalities) Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri whip up accessible and delicious food.
- The Lo Down – Tips on stylish living from Lo Bosworth.
- Landfill Dogs – In each episode, photographer Shannon Johnstone profiles one shelter dog and its journey to find a new home.
- Out of the Way – Anthony Carrino heads out on his motorcycle to find something unique for viewers, whether it’s a person, place or an object.
- Like A Vegan – Vegan chef Ayinde Howell puts his own vegan spin on carnivore classics.
- How Not to Kill Your Kids – Travel Channel’s Bert Kreischer gives tips on fatherhood, with the help of his two daughters.
- The Girls with Glasses: Way to Wear – Hosts Brooke and Summer take the guesswork out of dress-work with clever tips for styling yourself and the rest of the family.
- Lunch Lady – YouTube food star Hilah Johnson shares easy, healthy midday recipes that can be packed for school or work, or consumed on lazy weekends at home.
- 5 Things with Anne Sage – Anne Sage of the popular lifestyle blog The City Sage finds ingenious was to upcycle items from her closet that she never wears but can’t part with.