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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik