Food Network Cooks Up Winning Web Strategy

Revenue growth from Web offerings burns the competition
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2009 9:33 AM CST
Food Network personalities, like Paula Deen, pictured with Michelle Obama, drive hordes of viewers online for recipes and bonus content, a strategy that has served the network well.   (AP Photo/Food Network)
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(Newser) – Food Network has found the recipe for double-digit revenue increases during one of the harshest first quarters for media companies in recent memory, Advertising Age reports. Turns out it’s guacamole. saw a 44% spike in ad revenue in January, in large part due to viewers seeking recipes for the Super Bowl snack. The online property brings in 7% to 8% of the company’s annual revenue, a number that dwarfs that of most competitors.

A re-engineered content offering that’s part programming, part recipe portal has helped the user base grow from 3 million unique users in July 2007 to 11.3 million in in January. "Being in tune with the consumer palette [sic] allows us to think smartly about what people are thinking about on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis," Food Network’s parent company president said.