Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback on Web video

John Shinal · June 6, 2008 · Short URL:

Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback is in as good a position as anyone to know what is and isn't working with Web video, both in terms of show content and advertising.

Revision3 produces more than a dozen episodic Web shows, including popular series like DiggNation and Tekzilla.

The company was in the news last week when it's servers were taken down in a denial-of-service attack executed by a company crusading against peer-to-peer video file sharing, which Revision3 uses to send its content to viewers.

We caught up with him this week at a CEO dinner at the San Francisco ferry building hosted by the pr firm Outcast Communications. 

Louderback says successful shows are one that are designed from the ground up for Web distribution, rather than ones formatted in the hopes of eventually landing on broadcast or cable television.

"They're different mediums," Louderback says.

He says audiences connect to shows that use not actors but experts -- people who are passionate about the subject matter and have the ability to build communities of followers on social networks. 

Louderback also likes unscripted shows, because scripted series are more expensive and time-consuming to produce.

"I only have so much money. I can either have one scripted series or 10 unscripted ones," he says.

Regarding advertising, Louderback says it's still very early in the game. No surprise then that the most common ones on Revision3 shows -- things like product placement, host mentions and endorsements -- are ones that were successful in the early days of other media like television and talk radio.

"These were actually pioneered by Ed Sullivan and Howard Stern," Louderback says. 

The formats have been effective in getting advertisers' messages across to an audience that is savvy and mostly under-30. 

He said in some cases viewers have 100% recall of sponsors, and nearly half have purchased a product or service from one of its show sponsors.

Beyond that, Revision3 is doing lots of experimentation with everything from pre-rolls to post rolls.

"We're going to keep experimenting. With advertising, just like with the content, whatever works, we'll keep doing and what doesn't, we stop."

When I asked him to look in his crystal ball to see what's coming next, he guessed that it's going to be casual video shot on cell-phones and hand-held cameras.

It will be "the life-streaming of Twitter combined with the life-casting of video. There's something there, I'm not really sure what it is yet."




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