Finding a ripe, exhaust-fume smelling car enthusiast TV viewer with financial means can be a challenge in today's new media environment. So, car companies are always looking for a one-stop shop for tapping into that sweet spot.
At least that's what Discovery Media is banking on with its new man-centric channel Velocity.
"What we're targeting is upscale men, college educated, $150,000 plus income achievers who are strapped for time," said Bob Scanlon, senior vice president from Velocity. "But we've identified psychographic attributes of these guys--they appreciate quality and they're willing to pay extra for it."
Velocity, though, is not just banking on the high-roller, fat-wallet demographic with its focus on Ferraris and Bugattis.
"If you picture that target [audience] as residing at the top of the [wealth]pyramid, then there's the aspirational set just below that--people who currently wear a Timex but they want to wear a Rolex," Scanlon said.
Discovery expects the sporty, virile set--nurturing scruff and throwing back brewskies--to be the main audience on the couch.
"As evidenced by its relationships with blue-chip partners like the National Football League, Velocity taps into a premium male audience and connects with them at their passion points," David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications.
This niche may allow Discovery to attract advertisers who wouldn't necessarily look at the channel's existing program line-up. The entire Velocity branding and naming was a calculated choice--meant to imply a certain movement and ruggedness.
"It's about being iconic, timeless, cool," Scanlon said. "It's also not coincidental that all but two of the letters in the word velocity are in Discovery."
Since kicking off 140 hours of original content on Oct. 4, Velocity is hoping to generate the young affluent viewers advertisers covet. But with shows like Top Gear abounding, it might seem hard for Velocity to differentiate its programming from the rest of the bunch.
"The difference is that our focus is primarily on high-end, rare and collectible vehicles--cars or motorcycles," Scanlon said. "Top gear is a personality show. It's focused on the characters on those three guys. It's really a show about those three guys that uses cars a crutch. Ours are shows that use characters as the crutch to showcase the vehicles."
The programming is extensive and ups the ante for car enthusiasts.
"Inside West Coast Customs" follows custom-car genius Ryan Friedlinghaus as he creates vehicles for celebrity customers including Justin Bieber, Will.i.am and Mark Wahlberg. America's automotive auction king Dana Mecum will host "Mecum Auto Auctions" featuring incredible cars and lightning-fast wheeling and dealing. Car restoration expert Wayne Carini also brings his renowned talents to Velocity with an all-new season of "Chasing Classic Cars." Other shows like "Motorweek" and "What's My Car Worth" will complement the auto programming.
Velocity execs are talking with Conde Nast and Auto Week about doing some branded programming. It's also doing some cross-channel promotion and hitting the internet hard with web exclusive content on Velocity.tv.
A major selling point for the channel is that it could lure more high-def subscribers, as those without HD capabilities will not have access to the channel. "It will be a huge driver to help our distributers," Scanlon said.