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The Food Network thinks you’ll pay $7 a month for a digital version of the Food Network

The Food Network thinks you’ll pay $7 a month for a digital version of the Food Network


You can find recipes and cooking videos all over the internet. So how much would you pay for a service that delivered recipes and cooking videos over the internet?

Discovery, the cable TV programmer that owns the Food Network, thinks you might pay $7 a month.

At an Amazon event today in Seattle, Discovery is rolling out a new Food Network Kitchen streaming platform that offers recipes, cooking shows, and live cooking lessons. The service, which launches in late October, will also be available for Android and iOS users.

Discovery would like you to think of Food Network Kitchen as a Peloton for cooking. Both because of the live demonstration element — it will offer 25 live classes each week, and Discovery says it will get celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay, Daniel Boulud, and … Guy Fieri to teach some of them — and because Peloton’s spinning bike and video subscription service has proven popular with a subset of wealthy consumers.

But here’s another way to think of it: It’s part of an ongoing push from TV programmers to sell subscriptions to things that aren’t the programming they already sell to pay-TV providers like Comcast.

Food Network Kitchen will have programming that has already run on Food Network, likeThe Pioneer Woman. But if you want to watch shows that Food Network is currently airing, you’re still going to need a cable TV subscription (or the digital equivalent of one, like Hulu or YouTube TV).

That’s because while Discovery, like every other TV programmer, is interested in selling stuff directly to consumers, its core business is still based on wholesaling its programming to the cable guys, who turn around and sell it in a bundle to consumers. And the cable guys don’t want the programmers to compete with them.

So with a few exceptions, like HBO Now and CBS All Access, most of the stuff the TV guys have started selling directly to consumers in the last few years is being marketed as add-ons for hardcore fans, like Disney’s ESPN+ or AMC’s Shudder.

Discovery hopes to get a big push from Amazon to help distribute the new service, particularly on Amazon Echo devices that have a video screen. And Amazon will have the incentive to do that because it will get some of the subscription revenue for customers who sign up through Amazon. There are other potential benefits for Amazon, as well: Food Network TV hopes that customers will use it to place orders for the ingredients they need for their recipes, and Amazon is one of three grocery services that will fulfill those orders, along with Instacart and Peapod.

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