Everyday Health puts YouTube on a diet

Paul Slavin
Paul Slavin

A bottomless hunger for health video among consumers is one of the reasons behind Everyday Health's YouTube channel rollout on Tuesday. The other is an audience that SVP, corporate branding Laura Klein calls “people who have decided to take an action”—people who spend twice as long on pages with videos, fueling a 46% higher click-through rate on ads featured on video pages than on those without.

Everyday Health is launching the channel with 10 hours of new programming, and the company plans to add 90 minutes of new content every week. While the team behind the project describes the new channel in both broadcast and internet terms, all said the YouTube platform offers flexibility that standard broadcast does not—if audiences aren't interested, Everyday Health can retool content until they are.

The initial push includes relationship, fitness and nutrition programming starring experts and segment leaders with substantial social media followings. These include former The Biggest Loser coach Jillian Michaels (1.2 million Facebook fans, 1 million mobile app downloads), nutritionist Joy Bauer (27,000 Facebook fans, 32,000 Twitter followers) and relationship counselor Laura Berman (30,300 Twitter followers).

Among the offerings are a program called “What the Heck Are You Eating?” in which nutritionist Bauer picks apart the American diet. She told the audience at Monday's launch party that this will not be a one-way conversation, and that she expects viewers to ask her what they are eating, providing an ongoing loop of engagement and information.

SVP Paul Slavin said the channel's potential engagement levels “create promotional relationships" that he describes as an ecosystem in which there is the freedom to cross-promote other channels across the brand's 38 million monthly users.

Executive producer Mark Koops said a key in the health field is that “you can't make people feel like they're going to school,” hence the lighthearted tone of the programming.

The launch follows a string of recent stumbles by Everyday Health archrival WebMD. Despite protests that the company is not for sale, WebMD's 11-year CEO Wayne Gattinella announced his departure in February and ad sales have been dismal.