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Scaling content production at Time Inc’s Food Studios

4,000 recipes and 1,500 videos. Behind-the-scenes at Time Inc’s food studios.

These days, what many brands ask of us at Toast is how we can produce more video deliverables.

“Can you deliver 12 episodes with this budget?”

“Can you deliver 100 episodes per month?”

There is a strong focus on volume. Why?

Because brands know that video has an important impact on reach and that more videos means more reach. It’s as simple as that (although there comes a point where too much video doesn’t have an impact anymore, but we rarely reach this point in our discussions).

Time Inc knows this, of course, and they created studios in Birmingham, Alabama, specifically for this.

This year, they will have produced 3x as many videos as last year, but with the same budget. They went from 750 to over 2,000 per year between 2015 and 2016. How did they do it?

Their workflow became their competitive advantage.

They focused on agility, openness and collaboration. This seems like a simple solution, but implementing this into a rigorous workflow is key.

Also, setting up shop in Birmingham was a factor, as budgets can be much lower than shooting in New York City for example (where Time Inc headquarters are located).

This is something we see at Toast with our own clients that are located in Toronto. Our crews, experts and workflows make video production as efficient as possible, at a discount for them. They can say, “we can do 5 or 8 more if we produce in Montreal”.

And this is the reason we built our own studio, where we are able to shoot 8-10-12 episodes per day for many clients. On any given day we might be shooting recipes or DIY crafts, but always with the combination of quality concepts and production efficiency.

I will let you read a great article that details Time Inc’s food set-up in Alabama. They have since expanded to other verticals with sports, lifestyle and more, but this article tells all about how they approach production for over 25 online properties.


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