RAM: In the Lab

Scripps Networks has made no secret of its plans to introduce several broadband channels in the next year, starting with a kitchen-themed one in December. Less widely known is that the Knoxville, Tenn.-based content company that owns Food Network, HGTV, Fine Living, DIY Network, and GAC has been using its video magazine as an incubator for its big broadband strategy.

This completely video-centric site, which debuted in May with sponsorship by General Motors, features informational videos on Scripps' various areas of expertise: cooking, remodeling, and gardening.

"We are trying to articulate something of a future environment where it's all video all the time," says Channing Dawson, senior vice president, emerging media at Scripps. Visitors to find a GMC logo on the first page and "table of contents" with six categories. When a user clicks on one of the videos to play, a 15-second spot runs in front of the video. Viewers can also click on a video showroom link to see two-minute long-form videos, some with content created by advertisers on various topics.

"Who's to say in the future you won't go to Kohler to read about bath design?" Dawson asks. "Of course you will. All of these advertisers are going to start creating content." But will all this fly on the broadband channels? Probably not all of it, admits Jeff Meyer, senior vice president, interactive sales at Scripps, who's currently talking to endemic advertisers for the kitchen broadband channel. While pushes online video to its limits, the broadband channels will also blend in text, tutorials, and information. Ad opportunities on the new channels will be traditional and next-generation.

As Scripps moves forward with plans to introduce eight to 10 broadband verticals in the next few years, the company will also leverage its on-air inventory. If a viewer is watching "House Hunters" on HGTV, say, and the prospective home buyers on the show look around a kitchen, HGTV could pop a message onto the screen that says, "Interested in kitchen design? Go to our broadband channel for more."

"The more contextual, the more successful you can be," says Burton Jablin, executive vice president at Scripps Networks and the president of HGTV. "It's like targeted marketing within a show."

Scripps has good reason to believe its customers want video. has grown its video streams to 2.8 million in July, up from only 182,000 a year earlier. served 2.5 million streams in July, up 98 percent from the previous July. DIY Network delivered 536,000 streams in July, up from only 88,000 a year ago. And Fine Living served up 6.7 million video streams in July, up from 1.6 million a year ago. Collectively, that's 321 percent growth, according to WebTrends data provided by Scripps. is a success on another level: It won an Emmy for Oustanding Achievement in Advanced Media Technology for the Non-Synchronous Enhancement of Original Television.

Next story loading loading..