Chefclub, a top global cooking brand with 100 million social media subscribers, unveiled Monday a carriage agreement with Paramount’s Pluto TV for the U.S. and Latin America.
The deal with Pluto TV, one of the leading free streaming services in the U.S. market which is home to 40 million of Chefclub’s subscribers, marks a major milestone for Chefclub as it leverages a huge digital presence – with, it estimates, 2.5 billion global views a month – into what CEO Thomas Lang described as a “cooking studio.” This will produce content for partners across an ever broader portfolio of digital, OTT, telco and more traditional broadcast outlets.
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Under the terms of the agreement, Chefclub will bring more than 100 episodes of cookery content to Pluto TV in both Spanish and English. Pluto TV kicks off the deal with the launch of Chefclub Kids content in the U.S on April 9 on Pluto TV’s Find Out Why channel. Chefclub content will also stream on Pluto TV’s Grande-ish and Foodies channels in the U.S. and Pluto TV Kids in Latin America.
Find Out Why is a channel that asks such questions as: Why is the sky blue? How do airplanes fly? Added in September 2019, the Spanish-language Grande-ish is billed as a service for “adventurers.” “If you are ready to venture out into the world no matter how young you are, then Grande-ish is the place for you,” the Pluto TV description runs.
“Culinary entertainment transcends cultures and languages,” commented Amy Kuessner, SVP content strategy & global partnerships at Paramount Streaming. “We are thrilled to be bringing Chefclub content to Pluto TV where audiences can learn new recipes, families can come together to share their passion for cooking, and viewers can enjoy entertainment as unifying as food on Pluto TV all for free.”
“We are very excited that Chefclub is making its streaming debut in the U.S. with a leading platform like Pluto TV,” added Marie-Laure Marchand, SVP global consumer products & business development. “With half of our followers in the U.S., this is a phenomenal way to better serve our American fans and engage new ones, and is part of ambitious plans to dramatically expand the way we can engage with cooking enthusiasts everywhere.”
What Chefclub Brings to the Table for Pluto TV
Launched in 2016 by French brothers, Axel (COO), Jonathan (COO) and Thomas Lang, from the initial base of their family flat in Paris, Chefclub achieved immediate success by taking cooking recipes digital.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, video much more. Chefclub vids are brief but clear, can be stopped and re-wound, showing the texture of ingredients and best-practice utensils. They are also laced with a winning sly sense of humor and fun – a chocolate sandwich recipe presented with bird song in the background – which positions Chefclub at a halfway house between cooking and entertainment.
Since 2016, Chefclub has already expanded bullishly. In maybe its biggest strategic move, it launched a Chefclub Kids franchise. “We get kids to cook, we get adults to cook and Chefclub becomes the family cooking brand with content, products and experiences engaging for both adults and kids,” said Lang.
He added: “We see that the content and IP markets have never been so competitive and our food & family positioning brings something valuable to the table as family is a key driver for both subscription and retention on streaming platforms.”
Courtesy of Koko Media Consulting
The Pluto TV Deal as Part of a Bigger Picture
Since 2016, Chefclub has launched five proprietary themed channels: Original, Kids, Light & Fun, Daily and Cocktails. It has established licensing agents in the U.K., Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, China, and Benelux, and set up a publishing division with 700,000 books sold to date and a direct-to-consumer product program.
But now it is looking to reposition. The time is right, Lang argued: “The way content gets made, distributed and consumed has fundamentally changed and we’re on track to build an exceptional cooking studio with a unique food & family angle to provide content to a growing number of partners with ever growing needs.”
In one move last December, Chefclub launched a F.A.S.T. channel in France and Switzerland, partnering with Samsung TV.
This January, as leading French animation companies work an ever busier two-way street between broadcast and digital, Chefclub announced development on “Chefclub Friends,” its first linear animated series, an action comedy edutainment series targeting 5-7s and enrolling the mascots from Chefclub Kids.
Animation will allow Chefclub to enter the Chinese market in a big way, since it appeals to platforms in the territory, said Marchand.
Chefclub has two more premium formats in the pipeline, Lang added.
U.S. AVOD growth has been spectacular, up from 17% of U.S. homes third quarter 2020 to 34% third quarter 2021, according to an Ampere Analysis presentation last week at Cannes’ MipTV.
“The content market is basically dramatically driven by the U.S.,” Lang said, adding that some 30 of the 100 Chefclub employees in Paris are American, allowing it to reach the U.S. market with differentiated content.
“By design, we are equipped to perform in the fast-growing U.S. F.A.S.T. market as our content is optimized for attention which is key to maximizing advertising revenue,” Lang said.
Also, Chefclub is launching on Pluto TV as cooking has dramatically changed, Lang and Marchand argued.
“There was a time when men would never cook in France,” Lang said. “Now it’s a form of entertainment for both girls and boys.”
“Chefclub is tapping into true social needs,” Marchand added: “Eating well, eating home cooking and by season. It’s also very trans-generational. Kids cook with their parents and grandparents. It’s very gender neutral. We see an explosion of this trend since the pandemic. Everybody’s cooking.”
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