Will someone pay $ 7 a month to stream the Food Network?

It is clear the cord cut phenomenon climaxed, as anyone with a content library now wants to keep their shows exclusive and launch their own subscription streaming video service.

Discovery (NASDAQ: DISC.A)(NASDAQ: DISC.B)(NASDAQ: DISC) is the latest to succumb to the craze, announcing that she hears deploy a service dedicated to its Food Network cooking channel, with programs featuring recipes, cooking shows and live cooking lessons. It’s just hard to imagine who would pay $ 7 per month for what could easily be found for free anywhere on the Internet.

Image source: Getty Images.

Where gourmets gather

The new Food Network Kitchen app will feature over 800 on-demand cooking classes, including up to 25 weekly live classes from celebrity chefs such as Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Martha Stewart, Guy Fieri and Alton Brown.

The app will also host some 80,000 recipes, cooking-related programs and Food Network shows that have already aired on cable. It will be interactive, allowing users to communicate directly with chefs, and Discovery has partnered with Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) to allow users to access its Alexa voice technology to search the video and recipe library.

When it launches in October, it will be immediately available on Apple and Android mobile devices, Amazon Fire tablets, Echo Show and Fire TV before deploying them to media players and streaming devices like Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 for the rest of the year until 2020.

Like riding a bike

Discovery’s offer to monetize one of its most popular assets is certainly an ambitious endeavor, but the narrowness of the vertical it pursues makes it difficult to sell. Home chefs can already find almost all of this on the Internet.

Variety says Discovery compares the potential of Food Network Kitchen to that of platoon (NASDAQ: PTON), the high-end stationary bike maker that just went public at $ 29 a share, saw it open at $ 27 and closed its first day of trading below $ 26 (it’s now fair). above $ 25 per share).

Peloton offers subscription exercise classes with its spinning bikes, and it notes in its flyer that 92% of all interactive fitness equipment it has ever sold still comes with a subscription of $ 39 per month. It offers owners unlimited workouts for multiple users in a household.

But the Food Network app is different from Peloton, whose products themselves are interactive. So, taking a live exercise class is different from deciding on something to cook and then logging in to watch a demo showing how it’s done.

For one thing, you can get it for free right now on YouTube or even AllRecipes.com. The internet is full of searchable recipes, and while connecting to a recipe or video with Alexa is a good idea, you can already do so with Apple‘s Siri on your iPhone and Google Assistant on your Android mobile device. You can also call some food companies for help with cooking, such as with the Butterball Turkey Talk Line, which receives some 10,000 calls on Thanksgiving Day alone.

Now we cook with gas

Discovery would not be the first to slice and cut its offer. Disney, for example, did so with its sports programming, launching ESPN + for die-hard sports fans. AMC Networks has done similar niche programming, like its AMC Premiere service which allows you to watch shows like The walking dead and In the Badlands a week before the cable channel airs it. However, both of these services cost $ 5 per month.

Providing a foodie program gives Discovery a chance to make money on something that’s currently free, but it’s an expensive service, even in the narrow vertical market. There’s a basic aspect to the recipes too, with sites, books, and even grandma’s ideas, and that aspect of the app would probably be its biggest draw. I mean, a lot of celebrity chefs already have their own YouTube channels.

Discovery may have concocted a way to monetize their network, but it seems highly unlikely that many will want to sit down at this table.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are motley! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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