You won’t see Rachel Ray or Paula Deen anywhere on Hungry Nation TV, but you may learn how to make a cocktail in just 12 seconds.
Next New Networks is launching the new online video network today, with a focus on food for the common man – and frugality.
“We are always trying to identify areas that are underserved by the media and see if there’s a way to serve that audience online through video,” says Lance Podell, CEO of Next New Networks. “Much of what [cable’s] Food Network focuses on is professional, but it’s over-aspirational. … What we thought about was how much food is a part of our live and how we all enjoy talking about and sharing food stories, but in a more mundane and real way.”
Hungry Nation will launch with two shows - VendrTV and Working Class Foodies – and plans to add a third (12 Second Cocktails) next month. By December, it plans to increase that number to five.
Programs, which last 5-7 minutes, will initially offer new episodes weekly (Wednesdays for VendrTV and Mondays for Working Class Foodies). Podell says that may increase once the network is more mature.
The company has no sponsors lined up Hungry Nation at this time, but is keeping production costs low by tapping shows that are already in production on networks like YouTube.
“We help them with branding and packaging and distribution,” says Podell. “As a result, there really isn’t a production cost for us, per se.”
Next New Networks has captured roughly 600 million views in its 2.5-year history. The company, which manages 11 other focused online networks and has over 5,000 episodes of programs in its catalog, averages 30 million views per month and approximately 15 million unique users per month.
The numbers are comparable to a smaller cable network.
It’s best known for its Barely Political channel, which was home to the infamous “Obama Girl” video that hit the pop culture scene during the campaign.
The key to the company’s success has been its affiliation with multiple distribution channels, including YouTube, Hulu, Tivo and iTunes.
“Unlike [broadcast ] TV, we believe the advent of the Internet has allowed consumers to view their TV where they choose - not by having to find your channel,” says Podell. “In some cases, they find our brand and watch on our site, but we’re not offended if they watch on our YouTube channel.”