Revision3 is one of the most well-known Internet television networks, and it's run by a very energetic guy named Jim Louderback. As part of our chat with him back in October, we asked him to talk a bit about what Revision3 is doing differently, in terms of how they create their content, their advertising model, and distribution and audience building strategies..
The interview dives into Revision3's philosophy, marketing, and process. Have a look:
Now, if you don't quite have time to watch the whole interview, I've done my best to summarize the main points below:
Revision3 produces over 20 web series, and follows a pretty open philosophy—they're not really picky at all as to how their content finds you, so long as you're watching. So if you're a mobile viewer, great. If you watch on their website, awesome. If you watch YouTube versions of their shows… that's all good with them. They just want their content to find its audience in any and all ways possible.
The shows are aimed at the 18-35 male demographic, and offer a pretty interesting mix of formats and topics. Says Louderback:
"It's kind of a hybrid between a little bit of talk radio, a little bit of television… some sort of depth of experience that you can only really get in magazines.”
Revision3 Ad Model
On the one hand, most viewers are ready to experience some unique new video ad formats. We're tired of the pre-roll, am I right? But on the other hand, most viewers I talk to are wary of product placement creeping into their favorite shows. So what's a content creator to do?
In Revision3's case, they're splitting the difference… a traditional ad that is integrated into the show like product placement. In some ways, this is nothing new. If you listen to any talk radio (sports, politics, or otherwise), you hear these kinds of ads all the time. The host stops the show for a moment, and spends some time discussing the day's sponsor. But what it might lack in originality, Louderback says it makes up for in effectiveness:
"We build communities around hosts, and content, topics, episodic video… then we bring brands into that conversation, and the hosts themselves, actually, in the middle of the show stop and talk about the brands that are sponsoring. Incredibly effective.”
How Revision3 Shows Get Discovered
Louderback says they prefer to build shows around hosts and topics that are already being followed. For example, he talks about his TechTV days, which is where a lot of the early Revision3 show hosts came from—they already had built up a following before their shows launched, which helped them find an audience.
Whenever they add a new show, they use existing shows to cross-promote. Again, this is not a new concept. In fact, it's a proven one. There's a reason you see so many ads for CBS shows whenever you're watching a CBS show… it works.
They also like to be among the "early adopters”—so to speak—for new distribution channels:
"Being there first. So Roku, for example, when they opened up and said that there were independent channels available, we said, 'well, alright, we're going to build one.' So we were in that first group of channels. We are now the number one independent channel on Roku.”
Video SEO & YouTube
Louderback thinks SEO is definitely important, which we were obviously gratified to hear. But he doesn't mean it in the way you might think. Sure, good Google rankings are great and search traffic is still huge in total volume. But Louderback likes the SEO benefits of using YouTube.
"YouTube is also an amazing search engine, that works entirely differently. Like… what works on Google doesn't necessarily work on YouTube because YouTube can't see into your video to see what it's about.”
He goes on to mention the importance of meta data, annotations, titles, and descriptions that comprise the bulk of what you can do to tell YouTube what your video is about. While not ignoring Google, it sounds like Revision3 has an entire marketing plan related to YouTube SEO, which is a fantastic approach.
One final little comment Louderback makes near the interview's end really sums up his philosophy for online video, and it comes in response to a question about long-form video versus short-form… television versus web TV. Here's what he had to say:
"I fundamentally believe—and our viewers tell us this—is that it's not like short form is here and long form is over here. People just want to watch what they want to watch wherever they are on the best screen available. So, if all they have is a cell phone and they want to watch Diggnation, they're going to watch the show on their cell phone. But if they have a big screen TV, they'll watch it on that.”
While I happen to agree with him 100%, I'm not here to argue whether he's right or wrong… only that this quote explains why they don't care if you watch their shows on their home page, or on YouTube. Because we're moving toward a future when web TV and standard TV are indistinguishable from one another… and shows are just shows, regardless of which device you're watching them on.
Many thanks to Jim Louderback for taking the time to share his thoughts and passions with the readers of ReelSEO.