Yesterday, it was announced that Discovery Communications, the global media company responsible for 28 network brands that include the Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet, agreed to acquire San-Francisco-based new media studio and distributor Revision3 in a deal that Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback confirmed exclusively to NMR, is valued somewhere “around $30 million.” Revision3 is a major new media player known for their 23 online channels of original programming that includes “Epic Meal Time,” “TechnoBuffalo,” and “The Philip DeFranco Show,” among others, that collectively average nearly 27 million unique viewers a month. Ultimately, we believe that the acquisition means that Discovery Communications will be able to increase their online brand equity and ad sales, vital areas where they’ve previously lagged in comparison to other mass media conglomerates. We were able to speak with Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback about the acquisition, and what it means for both parties’ present and future.
NMR: What does Discovery Communications see in Revision3? What made them want to acquire Revision 3 and not another new media studio?
Jim Louderback: Discovery’s mission is to be the leader in nonfiction video-based entertainment on all streams, and they are a huge leader in so many different areas. They saw us as being–when it comes to internet video–the leading company doing non-fiction for web originals, and it was such a natural fit because we share the same vision around satisfying curiosity, we share the same vision about entertaining, and informing, and connecting people. They are number one in the traditional video space, and we are number one in the web video space in that nonfiction category. It just made sense to bring us together and to tackle the opportunity together.
NMR: How do you think Discovery Communications is going to go about utilizing Revision3, exactly?
Louderback: Well, if you think about it, Discovery communications has 13 video channels in the US. They have hundreds worldwide. First of all, we are going to continue doing what we’re doing, which is super serving our 18-34 year old male audience around the things they’re passionate about: technology, video games, culture, news, movies, and entertainment. But if you think about the things Discovery is really good at–building channels around these authentic real people who are experts in these different areas–over time you would imagine we’d be doing more and more to work with them on the areas that they’re dominating as well and to bring some of that to the Web’s original space.
NMR: How do you think outsiders will eventually judge this acquisition of Revision3 by Discovery Communications? Is this an early and pivotal moment where television is moving toward new media, or is the movement already in full swing?
Louderback: I think its already in full swing. I think the way you look at it is can we continue to have a leadership position and really be the number one nonfiction company across all streams in people’s lives? As I called it, “every glowing rectangle,” we need to continue to be the number one nonfiction company across all those glowing rectangles. And that’s how you should judge us and how we are executing on that.
NMR: What has been some of Revision3’s talents’ reaction to the acquisition?
Louderback: You know what, everyone is amazingly positive, and I am not surprised because Discovery is such an amazing company. Our missions are so closely aligned, but the depth and the consistency of it is just really, really heartwarming because it says that not only was it the right move, but that we really have something special here that we can create together.
NMR: Discovery will still give Revision3 creative freedom, so nothing will change on Revision3’s end, correct?
Louderback: Exactly. We are just going to keep on being Revision3 and doing the awesome stuff we’re doing. Now, we’re just going to do more of it – we’re going to supercharge it and crank it up.
NMR: What are you most looking forward to after this point?
Louderback: I just think there is such great opportunity to just continue to build great things for this audience. I am just looking forward to getting started! I mean, “Lets do it!” Discovery, as it turns out, they have the same point of view – they are like, “Lets just not wait around, let’s just go start taking advantage of the opportunity!”
What do you think of Discovery Communication’s acquisition of Revision3?