Crafty thinking: HGTV launches first YouTube channel

HGTV Handmade features up-and-coming YouTube talent in the lifestyle DIY space as the network aims to grow the brand with a younger generation of fans.
January 17, 2014

Martha Stewart has a new gang of challengers vying for her home crafting crown via the U.S. cable network HGTV’s first YouTube channel, HGTV Handmade.

Dubbed a “collaborative crafting channel,” HGTV Handmade is toplined by five prominent personalities from the do-it-yourself craft community, HGTV newcomers Meg Allan Cole  (MeganAllanColeCrafts), Karen Kavett (xperpetualmotion), Ann Le (Anneorshine) and Julia Wycliff (SimpleDIYs), along with Marianne Canada (WeekdayCrafternoon), host of the  the digital series Crafternoon.

“We chose established and up-and-coming YouTubers in the lifestyle DIY space who we feel have unique voices and great ideas,” says Amy Lawless, VP of digital strategy and planning for HGTV parent company Scripps Networks Interactive. “These young women are beloved by their fans and amazingly creative.”

With the channel, HGTV is looking to grow the brand with a younger generation of fans. While the network has had a YouTube presence for a while, Handmade is its first hub with content created specifically for that platform.

“YouTube is a great place to reach millennials,” Lawless says. “Young women make up the vast majority of lifestyle DIY viewership on YouTube, and that’s our target.” The channel will also allow HGTV to “stretch the boundaries of how we produce digital video,” she says.

HGTV Handmade plans to post six new videos a week. So far, subjects have included Cole’s driftwood centerpiece project, Wycliff’s welcome mat, Canada’s citrus and ginger home fragrances, a tour of Le’s craft room and Kavatt’s homemade fairy wings.

HGTV Handmade’s DIY stars have extra motivation to make their crafts compelling.

“We pay by asset, but incentivize based on traffic referrals,” Lawless says. “Our talent are experts at growing community already, so we trust them to spread the word via their own social strategies.”

Todd Longwell is the U.S. West Coast reporter for STREAM, a Brunico publication launching soon that covers online video entertainment.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.