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Media's growing appetite for food content

Media companies looking to expand outside of advertising, and especially into commerce, are increasingly following the same path down the grocery aisle.

Why it matters: Food and beverage caters to nearly every demographic. When launching forays into commerce, media companies are finding this an easy place to start.

Driving the news: Discovery Inc. launched a Food Network Kitchen App in conjunction with Amazon last week that will offer users live cooking classes, as well as the ability to buy food and kitchenware directly from the app.

  • CEO David Zaslav said at the Vanity Fair News Establishment conference: "This platform is ubiquitous to everyone and we get all of the data and we get all of the credit cards."

Other notable examples:

  • Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti told Axios that last year the company made over $100 million from revenue streams like selling cookware from its food brand Tasty at Walmart.
  • Dotdash, a media company that's owned by Barry Diller's IAC, bought liquor.com earlier this year and said it would use that brand to further launch its commerce business.
  • The Chernin Group has poured over $130 million into media companies like Food52 and MeatEater to help them launch commerce businesses around food products, like whiskey, cookbooks and cutting boards.

Be smart: Food has also proven to be a growing vertical for advertisers, subscriptions, events and licensing.

  • The three consumer packaged goods (CPG) food categories — Food, Alcoholic Beverage and Non-Alcoholic Beverage — made up 11% of the 2018 ad market, per data from Standard Media Index.
  • While the national TV ad market has dropped 1% over a five-year CAGR (excluding the Olympics), Food Network's advertising has grown 5.9%.

Even news outlets, or companies which own news operations, have launched events, licensing businesses and subscription businesses around food.

  • The New York Times Cooking App surpassed 250,000 subscriptions in Q2 2019, tripling the number of subscriptions in just one year.
  • New York Media's food vertical Grub Street teamed up with "Just Salad" shops to sell salads in New York City.
  • Vox Media's largest TV licensing deal to date has been a multi-year, multi-series development and production deal that's a collaboration between celebrity chefs and Vox Media's Eater brand.
  • The Infatuation sold 17,000 tickets to its annual EEEEATSCON weekend-long food festivals in LA and NYC this year.

The bottom line: Food sells.

Go deeper: Investors are missing out on the food revolution

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."

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