Ibiza Style had the privilege of speaking to Richard Herd, who has an extensive background with over 16 years experience in television production, and is now the head of Foodtube, Jamie Oliver´s incredibly successful online digital platform, and works together with the celebrated celebrity chef on all things digital. Communicating in an authentic way with a global audience, since its launch, Food Tube which was set up by Richard and Jamie together, has amassed over 2 million subscribers, over 180 million views and won many industry awards. They now have a boutique MCN of like minded chefs and a sister channel, Drinks Tube. Richard plays a pioneering role Involved in shaping the digital strategy for this multi layered company and leading his team across all digital and social platforms.
He spoke to us about how the channel was born, himself having become somewhat disillusioned with working on heavily formatted tv shows, he began to work with Jamie, who had himself noticed a shift in his audience, where he was still selling plenty of books, his television shows saw a dip in ratings, with more and more people watching the shows on catch up, engaging with the content but at a time convenient to them.
They began their experiments with Twitter casts, working to promote an American TV show, Food Revolution, and Jamie became so excited and enamoured by the webcast that he actually once missed the actual show they were promoting, he was so happy to be truly engaging with the audience for the first time in years, he really loved the interactions, and so Food Tube was born after they pitched the channel to YouTube.
Reaching new audiences who really want to learn about food, and using the power of clever content om a needs based solutions they realised they could really engage with their audience in this way. The videos are not an online TV show, more of a way to educate, inform, and most importantly show people ´How To´.. cook the perfect steak for example, one of their most watched videos.
Richard tells us that the videos have to be carefully edited according to which platform they are being broadcast on, for example, a Facebook video is usually 30-60seconds, as its difficult to engage for longer than that, however the FoodTube videos are usually around 5-7 minutes with an average view rate of 3-4 minutes, here, to fully benefit from the menu, which obviously has a start, middle and end, viewers need to watch all of the clip to see the finished product.
However, Richard says its not all about the number of views, they are not vloggers, this is disposable content, every day their videos get more and more view, as more people discover FoodTube, and they delight in sharing their creations with their audience. Jamie´s favourite platform is actually Instagram as Richard explains, he really buzzes off sharing the beauty of images of great food. They also use other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Snapchat to reach out to a younger, different demographic.
YouTube is not the end of the story, Richard concludes, rather the beginning of their digital journey, making content which is relevant to as many people as possible so that they can achieve their mission of looking after the superfast, and deliver what they are looking for. We predict big things for the future with this dreamteam of Richard and Jamie at the helm.