Digital programming has shifted from the “leftovers” perception to having earned a serious role at the production table, due in part to the success of programs such as Last Chance Kitchen, a digital companion series to Bravo’s Top Chef.

At the Beet.TV executive retreat earlier this month, we heard from Lisa Hsia, EVP, Digital Media at Bravo who said in an interview with Rob Norman, Chief Digital Officer at GroupM Global, that Last Chance Kitchen had earned 8 million video views and drew 40% of the audience for Top Chef.

Those sort of numbers help digital get more respect. “Production people really saw the value,” Hsia tells Norman. “It’s expanded opportunities for the advertiser, Toyota, a long-time sponsor.”

But next steps in boosting digital programming will include broadening the type of ads. With exclusive sponsors, it’ll become more important to vary the creative and add interactive elements, she says. That’s because many fans watched all 12 episodes of Last Chance Kitchen, and while the brand recall was “off the charts” for Toyota, mixing and matching ads will help.

Norman and Hsia also discuss second-screen, TV Everywhere, mobile and fan involvement. “I would like to see where fans have a say in what happens, and we can upload a series and fans can tell us what they think,” she says.


Beet Retreat 2013