Tastemade - Travel & Food Media Company
Founded in 2012, Tastemade is a media company that shares travel and food content with over 300 million monthly vistors.
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Founded in 2012, California-headquartered Tastemade is a global media company that aims to connect people through content. It produces original video content on food, home, and travel on all major digital, mobile, and streaming television platforms.
Over the years the company has formed profitable partnerships with some of the world’s best brands such as Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, Coca Cola, Disney, Hyundai, Walmart, Subway, Samsung, Target, Nestle, PepsiCo, Uber, Nike, Starbucks, CBS, Home Depot, Wendy’s, AT&T, American Express, Zillow and more. It has also won numerous awards in categories like Outstanding Personality/Host, Top in Media, Social Good, Best Branded Content Series and Best Brand from Fast Company, James Beard Foundation, and Digiday.
The company has been growing tremendously ever since its launch in 2012. It has raised $115.3M in funding by notable investors like Redpoint, Goldman Sachs, The Raine Group, Raine Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Scripps Networks Interactive, Liberty Media, and more. Its last funding round was in 2018, where it raised $35M in a Series E funding round. In 2018, PrivCo estimated the post-money valuation of Tastemade in the range of $100M to $500M, and in the second half of 2020, the company started churning profits.
Business Overview & Products
Tastemade currently provides video content and original programming in the following categories:
Home & Design
The Food categories include original shows, short videos showing aesthetically pleasing recipes, online culinary classes, and hacks to make cooking easier.
The Travel category includes entertaining programs where Tastemakers take viewers on global adventures exploring different types of cuisine and culture.
The Home & Design category includes home transformations, DIY projects, Design & Trends, Plants & Gardening, Cleaning & Organisation, and Artisan Profiles.
Tastemade’s recently acquired venture, Tastemade, is a marketplace and ticketing platform that helps create, sell and manage unique experiences; participate in Livestream cooking classes, IRL popup events, culinary tours, brand activations, and more.
The company’s global footprints are spread across Europe, Asia, South America, and North America.
How It Works
A wide variety of programming is offered through Tastemade that attracts millions of users to explore different culinary options. It includes videos demonstrating how to make a variety of foods. It also features online culinary classes with topics including party hosting, gluten-free foods, condiments, cocktail crafting, jam, pies, homemade pasta, Italian, Mexican and much more. The draw of Tastemade is not limited to the videos demonstrating the preparation of various foods, but also programs where Tastemakers take viewers on global adventures.
Tastemade calls its Tastemakers “influential trendsetters.” These chefs are trained professionals, home chefs, adventure seekers and world travelers. They provide stories, cultural and culinary education, local flavors and hidden gems throughout the world.
Tastemade content is offered in over a dozen languages across networks and devices including YouTube, AOL, Yahoo!, Roku and the Tastemade App. The Tastemade App allows consumers to create bite-sized episodes of the places and dishes they love in HD quality. They can easily do this from their iPhone or iPod touch and the videos can be shared globally across social media platforms.
The company produces videos in its studio. Recipes are pitched in the company’s weekly brainstorm or its daily programming-and-production team meeting, with producers discussing ideas in a similar way from a traditional TV writers’ room. Recipe developers closely check the data of previous videos to analyze for how long users watch videos and how often they swipe up on Snapchat for more information. Recipe developers and food stylists then work together to discuss how dishes should taste and look like, based on which, required ingredients are prepared in a soundproof prep kitchen. Once the filming is done, the raw footage is sent to a post-production suite where around 2 dozen editors edit videos from around the world. After editing, the video is sent to the color-correcting studio for final touches.
Business Model & Pricing
Tastememade earns revenue by selling advertisements on multiple platforms. Initially, it started with just a Youtube channel, where it would earn money from ads. It has now expanded the channels it distributes on to include Snapchat Discover and its own apps like Facet-Video Travel Inspiration, Tastemade-Video City, Get Prepd and more.
The company also earns revenue from sponsorships, ranging from one-off videos it will create for a brand to entire shows it hosts on its channels, such as the three seasons of the ‘Local Flight’ series it produced with Grey Goose, visiting cocktail bars around the world.
Tastemade charges customers a $2.99 for a monthly subscription to its app and $19.99 for an annual subscription.
While the company does not publicly disclose its revenue, it revealed how it made a profit in the second half of 2020. The company now has over 300 million monthly viewers on all major digital, mobile and streaming television platforms which amount to 700 million minutes watched every month. It has viewers in more than 200 countries with monthly views that exceed 2 billion. It has also spread its streaming network to 40 countries and plans to rope in more before the end of the year.
Founder(s) & Team
Larry Fitzgibbon (LinkedIn): Co-Founder and CEO at Tastemade. Larry previously worked as Executive Vice President of Media and Operations at Demand Media and as VP of Business Development at Citysearch.
Steven Kydd (LinkedIn): Co-Founder at Tastemade. Steven previously served as an advisor at Bluefin Labs and as Executive Vice President of Studios at Demand Media. He has also worked at Yahoo! As Vice President of Business Development and Strategy.
Joe Perez (LinkedIn): Co-Founder and Board Member at Tastemade. Joe previously co-founded Day-J, a health and wellness platform. He also worked as Executive Vice President of Product and Community at Demand Media and co-founded Livestrong.com, a platform that offers diet, nutrition and fitness tips.
History & Evolution
Three members of Demand Media’s founding team, Larry Fitzgibbon, Joe Perez, and Steven Kydd quit their jobs and went on a quest to start their own media business. They started brainstorming for startup ideas while aiming to use the media experience they gained working at Demand Media and combine it with their love for food.
In 2012, they launched Tastemade, a Youtube-centric programming network that showcased both their own content as well as other video-makers’. It followed a similar format to Youtube networks Machinima and Big Frame. The company also opened a 7,000 square feet production studio in Santa Monica that featured a kitchen set to shoot cooking videos.
In 2013, the company had 200,000 subscribers on Youtube and its shows had 18 million views. Its affiliated channels collectively had 4 million subscribers and their shows were being viewed 50 million times a month. It also raised a $10M funding in Series B round after previously securing $5.3M in a Series A round. Finally, the company launched an iPhone App to provide more content to its consumers.
In 2014, Tastemade raised $25M in a Series C funding round. It also won 2 James Beard Awards in the New Media Category for its program ‘Thirsty For…..’ and documentary ‘The Perennial Plate.’ It also produced 18 new shows featuring different content for its consumers.
In 2015, Tastetmade was launched on Apple TV to provide hundreds of episodes of its premium original programming to millions of Apple TV users. Snapchat also added a Discover Channel for the company that year. The company also raised $40M in a Series D funding round. That same year Fast Company named it one of the World’s Top Most Innovative Companies.
In 2016, Tastemade partnered with Facebook to produce and air 100 Facebook Lives shows every month. It also launched ;Tiny Kitchens’ which instantly became a cult favorite. The company also announced the production of 7 original projects, 3 of which would exclusively roll out only on Snapchat.
In 2017, Tastemade was getting 2 billion monthly views on its videos when it decided to expand into the world of travel and home categories. It launched two new channels called Tastemade Home and Tastemade Travel.
In 2018, Tastemade published its first cookbook called ‘Good Food Book’ which featured 50 recipes for gatherings and get-togethers. That same year it raised $35M in a Series E funding round. Moreover, the company also struck a partnership with Disney to Disney Eats.
In 2019, Tastemade signed a nonexclusive licensing deal with Hulu. According to the contract, 24 Tastemade shows would roll out on Hulu till the end of 2019 and would feature episodes from good, travel and lifestyle categories.
In 2020, Tastemade acquired ChefsFeed, a content platform for professional cooks to share recipes and restaurant views. This gave the company access to their 40 million viewers and network of more than 6,000 chefs. That same year, Mitsui invested in Tastemade Japan. The company also announced partnerships with both Walmart as well as Heineken.
In 2021, Tastemade made waves in the international community by launching its app in different countries in their native languages. It first launched the Portuguese version of its streaming network in Brazil. Then its Spanish-language channel debuted in Latin American markets. Recently it launched an English-language network in India, its first Asian market. Additional rollouts are coming in Sweden and The Netherlands. Moreover, the firm is in the process of making a couple of dozen original shows globally, double of what it produced last year. More than half the new productions are for international audiences.
Tastemade’s one-stop platform is what differentiates it from its competitors as the company not only provides creators a built-in potential customer base but also offers additional income opportunities including show offers and brand deals. Tastemade has successfully combined numerous categories of creator economy company into one by adding subscription and event sales to the mix.
According to The Media Global Market Report 2020-30, the global media market was valued at $1713B in 2020, having increased at a CAGR of 3.8% since 2015. By 2025 the market is expected to grow to $2670.7B at a CAGR of 9.3%.
Suggested Next Reads
'Struggle Meals' was a pandemic hit. Now it's going global (Ryan Faughnder, LA Times, March ‘21)
Tastemade finds success in food-crazed Japan, especially on Twitter (Sahil Patel, Digiday, Feb ‘17)
Tastemade Still Has ‘Tiny Kitchen,’ but There’s Nothing Tiny About Its TV Ambitions (Scott Porch, Deicider, July ‘20)
How food become cool (Larry Fitzgibbon, CEO, Tastemade; Helen Rosner, editor at large, Eater) (Recode Media Podcast, July ‘17)
Here's how they make those food videos on your Facebook feed (Drew Harwell, LA Times, Aug ‘16)