At the beginning of this month a couple of exciting announcements went up on the Revision3 blog. The Internet television network announced that it has secured it’s position as the number one over the top network, achieving sustained profitability in the fourth quarter of 2010 and increasing viewership by a whopping 165%. But that’s not all! Revision3 also announced that they’ve brought on new investors and advisors, including Mark Cuban. I had the opportunity to ask Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback a few questions about the big news. Find out what he had to say in the interview below.
Before we get to my interview with Jim, let’s take a look back at some of the major milestones for Revision3 in 2010, as outlined by the company blog. Revision3 launched a lineup of over ten new shows and hosts including Dan 3.0, Household Hacker, The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur, Destructoid, Unboxing Porn, The Ben Heck Show, Death Battle from Screw Attack and more. They also launched partnerships with AOL, 5Min, PlayStation Home and BackBerry. They grew their unique visitors to nearly 12 million a month, their YouTube subscriber base to more than 1 million subscribers, and their viewership to over 42 million monthly views.
I asked Jim whether he could point a finger at any specific factors that lead to the tremendous growth of viewership in 2010. He told me, “We really focused on building, acquiring and growing key properties with large and engaged communities around them, and stopped focusing on viral one-hit wonders.” Jim has been a proponent of episodic content over viral videos for some time now. Check out our post on his belief that viral video is dragging down the online video industry.
With all the exciting stuff that happened in 2010, I wondered what Revision3 has in store for 2011. Jim told me, “More of the same! More great shows and communities coming out of and joining up with Revision3, and more brands and advertisers working with us to effectively reach those engaged groups.” I for one can’t wait to see what’s in store.
But the big question on everyone’s mind is about Mark Cuban’s investment in Revision3. Jim and Mark have been adversaries in regards to the debate of online video vs. cable TV and many are wondering how they came to join forces. Has Mark Cuban come to be a web video supporter? Well, not exactly. He told Peter Kafka of All Things D that “the dollars he’s putting into Revision3 will give him what amounts to a first look on the video site’s programming, and the chance to turn some of it into TV shows.” He said, “This investment really confirms my position on web video. While Revision3 will make some money on the web, the real money is [in] TV. And I wanted HDNet to have the option to be that outlet.”
I asked Jim for a comment about how the two of them came to partner up and what the deal might entail, in terms of HDNet purchasing Revision3 shows. Here’s what he had to say:
“I’ve known Mark for a long time, I used to cover him back in the nineties. We were talking to some folks in the media industry about being on our advisory board, and Mark’s name came up, so we talked and ended up with him putting some money in, but also being part of our advisory board.
“As for our agreement with HDNet, we will do our best efforts to provide HDNet an opportunity to purchase any show that we plan on selling, as long as there are no inherent conflicts (i.e. if we were developing a show with Discovery and we decide to sell it to them for broadcast, we’re not going to offer that to HDNet – note we’re not doing that now, but anything can happen in the future)…”