Directions: Insights from Media Executives in Traffic’s Network

Alix Baudin on why lifestyle channels like HGTV and Food Network are thriving.

What can television teach the rest of the media industry?

Digital is transforming the media to where we already are in the cable space. In cable, we typically already license content to multiple platforms. The transition to digital means other media not only need to have direct-to-consumer websites and applications, but need to build experiences on large platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest.

How does one adapt to that environment?

The ability to serve your content anytime, anywhere, on any device is becoming ever more critical to the success of media companies. The amount of time spent with video is much higher on 60-inch or 40-inch TVs than on smartphones, but younger demographics are very comfortable consuming content on mobile and tablet. They want to access content wherever they are, whenever they want.

How are you capitalizing on those changes? 

In December, Scripps Networks announced it was launching the Scripps Lifestyle Studio. That team, led by my colleague Vikki Neil, is charged not only with being able to tell a great story but also smartly integrating with our advertising and technology partners. For instance, the lifestyle studio has a full editorial team that curates storytelling specifically for Snapchat. The goal of the lifestyle studio is to tailor content to specific platforms — and to do content marketing and native advertising at scale.

Why native advertising? 

The great news about Scripps being in the lifestyle category is the content that our sponsors produce creates value for our customers, and that’s a paradigm we’re very familiar with from our linear TV business. If you look at our channels, like HGTV and Food Network, we’ve done a wonderful job of integrating our advertising partners, either within our programs or in ad spots. This bodes very well for us from a digital perspective, because our content and our sponsors’ content will just naturally fit well together.

We will be publishing our readers’ best feedback and incisive dissent; send your thoughts to