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The annual “Eat Cheap” issue of New York magazine is always filled with the latest trends in feasting well on a budget, and now that advice migrates to the little video screen in a five-part series. A partnership between the magazine and Ben Silverman’s Electus production company is bringing “Eat Cheap with New York Magazine” to life on the Electus YouTube channel, HUNGRY.
"We were excited about the idea of getting involved in this YouTube program because we know it's something they believe in strongly, that they've invested quite a bit in and that they'll be promoting heavily," says Serena Torrey, New York's executive director of business development. "We're interested to see what that means in terms of streams of this video and user interest, but also any other data points that Electus and YouTube will make available to us in terms of how long users stream these videos for, which they engage with most and why. It's data we have some access to because we produce videos in house and upload to YouTube. We've already learned a lot about YouTube and our ability to attract users on other platforms, but this partnership really takes it to the next level."
The series premiered this week on the HUNGRY channel, which has over 27,000 YouTube subscribers. As co-host and NYMag.com’s Grub Street editor Alyssa Shelansky says in the inaugural episode, “It’s a great time to be broke and hungry in New York City.” The six-minute episode focuses on “the season of the fish filet sandwich” in the city.
"Across all of our sites, we see more than 11 million unique visitors a month, while the magazine has a weekly circulation of 400,000," says Torrey. "We know that our real growth opportunity, as far as audience goes, is in finding new audiences for our brands online. We already have a huge digital audience so this is a business we've had a lot of success in, and it's only growing. For visitors to our digital properties, 80 percent are coming from outside of New York and 20 percent come from inside. They're very much a national and international audience—when it comes to our restaurant content, it's 50-50."
Torrey adds that these online readers are coming from other major U.S. cities and make up two groups of people—those that are interested in food and restaurant content in general, or those that will be traveling to New York City.
"We know that both of those types, inside and outside of New York, are interested in this content," she says. "By putting our brand and restaurant content on another platform, we can get all of those types of people visiting our content even more often—those that live in New York and want to know where to eat tonight, those that live outside of New York and would like ideas about where to eat when they do come, as well as people who simply are intrigued by the really robust restaurant culture that we have here in New York."
The series will run for five episodes. The partnering of cross-platform video production house Electus and New York magazine is part of the YouTube push for programming more branded, professional content into discrete “channels” on the Google-owned video network.