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
Justin Anderson joined Realscreen as senior staff writer in 2021, reporting and writing stories for the newsletter and magazine. During his 20-year career he’s filled a variety of roles as a writer and editor at a number of media organizations, covering news and current affairs as well as business, tech, the film and music industries and plenty in between. He’s also spent time behind the scenes in television production, having written everything from voiceover scripts for documentaries to marketing copy. He has a degree in Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).