iFoods.tv cooks up plans to beat competition

29 May 2008

Dublin-based social networking site for foodies iFoods.tv plans to stay ahead of the competition with new additions to be unveiled next week, one of which is an interactive system that will get food bloggers more involved.

Of course, the success and global audience of iFoods.tv has not been harmed by the fact that it was named third best European web 2.0 start-up at the StartUp 2.0 awards in Barcelona.

And the fact that resident chef Niall Harbison (pictured) who stars in the cooking videos on the site has prepared dishes for the likes of Bill Gates and Paris Hilton.

While the videos are primarily what draw people to the site in the first place, Harbison observes that social networking is a standard feature for all web 2.0 sites these days.

The new feature (currently in beta) to be introduced next week will allow food bloggers from all around the world to promote their individual blogs on iFoods.tv and give them interactive ways of communicating with each other.

“There is definitely a strong niche on the web surrounding food. Hopefully we can provide people with the simple tools to interact with each other. It is quite a step away from the normal way of searching blogs,” added Harbison.

“It is all about constantly updating and keeping things fresh,” he explained, referring to the body of new video currently being shot for the site.

All this innovation costs money – is paid subscription the answer for a solid revenue stream? CEO of iFood.tv, Sean Fee, does not think so.

“There are so many options out there but we decided to focus on advertising, both banner and video,” said Fee.

“We are close to the stage where we are happy to try and monetise the traffic on the site but we do not want to bombard people with ads that are not related to their love of food, like you can find on Google ads.”

Fee also broached the subject of product placement. If the chef uses certain products while cooking, it can be both unobtrusive and subliminal, he explained.

By Marie Boran