Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Demand Media Vets Launch Tastemade, a Machinima for Food Videos

tastemadeA year ago, three top executives from Demand Media all left at the same time, a fact the company chalked up to “coincidence.”

So, how about this coincidence: Larry Fitzgibbon, Joe Perez and Steven Kydd have launched a new company together. It’s called Tastemade, and it’s another YouTube-centric programming network that produces some of its own clips and bundles other video-makers’ stuff, as well.

A click to the site or its YouTube channel will spell out what these guys are up to. But in case you can’t or won’t: It’s Machinima for food. Which means it’s also not a coincidence that early Machinima backer Redpoint Ventures has led a $5.3 million series A round this time around.

One thing that differentiates Tastemade from some other YouTube networks is that it has built its own 7,000-square-foot kitchen/studio in Santa Monica. Another is that the company assumes that it will help generate revenue for some of its content partners by brokering things like book deals, sponsorships or TV shows; if that happens, it plans on keeping a piece of those deals.

An obvious challenge here is that YouTube does not suffer a shortage of food videos, many of which are very good. And even the ones that aren’t still provide utility and/or entertainment. The notion that Tastemade can aggregate many of them under its own brand is presumably part of the pitch here, but if that was easy to do, somebody would have already done it.

Speaking of easy:

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald