How BuzzFeed’s Tasty Conquered Online Food

Farhad Manjoo:

The cooktop and book sketch an emerging road map for the social-fueled media company: Tasty — and, in a larger sense, BuzzFeed — is trying to become something like the Disney of the digital age, an all-encompassing lifestyle brand that creates content, experiences and products for an audience hooked on phones.
“After the cookbook, I realized that Tasty was neither an experiment nor just a really popular Facebook page with lots of ad revenue,” said Ashley McCollum, Tasty’s general manager. “Really what we’re seeing is how to make a business out of massive intellectual property that was built digital-first. It’s the same model as old-media networks — you make a movie that people love, and then you build a theme park and extend that to products and everything else.”

Having come from the media world, I'm skeptical of trying to replicate the older models (ad-based), just at larger scale. But this is interesting. Content that builds up a brand to the point where you can start other, potentially more lucrative businesses on top of it. Disney makes its real money from theme parks and merchandise (well, and above all, ESPN), not the movies themselves. But those movies are what set the foundation...


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