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Customizable Video Player Coming to FoodNetwork.com
Monday, November 13, 2006 | posted by Mike

Food NetworkWe have mentioned on a couple of occasions that FoodNetwork.com is a tremendous resource for getting that recipe you just saw or finding out which episode is coming up. However, we’ve also been a little critical of the site for not “being all that it could be” in terms of interactivity and technology when you consider the content that they have at their disposal. I can watch last week’s episode of Lost on ABC.com (I might have to in order to keep my self occupied until it returns…in FEBRUARY!) but I can’t pull up a clip from one the FN’s shows. They do have some nice original content, but I think the model most networks are pursuing is a blend of original material and repackaged broadcast programming.

It looks like the Network is moving forward a bit in terms of the technology with the soon-to-debut “Tyler’s Ultimate Holiday Menu Planner.” Mediaweek has a story outlining the new, customizable video player which will allow “visitors to FoodNetwork.com the ability to mash up select instructional videos into an iTunes-like playlist to create a customized cooking/viewing experience.”

The videos are new pieces filmed with Tyler Florence and focusing on preparing holiday meals (duh), which is the big push right now both on the web site as well as during the promotional spots on the Network itself. MasterCard and Calphalon are on board and are providing additional videos and advertisements for the Planner.

So, how does it work?
Users can load up to 10 videos at a time from among the 26 original clips Florence has produced for the new player. In addition, users can post recipes from the Foodnetwork.com archives in Tyler’s Planner to spice up the video experience.
It is good to see the Food Network site providing more content, and I’m sure that most if not all visitors will gladly take a look at the advertisements in exchange for the opportunity to get to the good stuff.

Keep an eye out for this new feature that Robert Wade, the director of creative design for the site, hopes will catch on and be passed around as a bit of viral content.

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