The Discovery Channel and Revision3 – a perfect match for online video

4 May 2012

With the purchase of Revision3, a web video start-up that saw a very successful 2011, it looks like the Discovery Channel is turning its focus to online television.

The price paid by Discovery Communications (parent company of the Discovery Channel) for Revision3 has not been disclosed, but an earlier report from TechCrunch on the acquisition talks placed the figure between US$30m and US$40m.

Though Discovery Communications sees itself as ‘the world’s No 1 non-fiction media company’, it hasn’t made much headway with online video content, but this new acquisition will no doubt help to to rectify this.

For now, though, Revision3 is conducting business as usual from its San Francisco HQ. “We want them to continue doing what they’re doing, and to continue developing native digital talent,” said Discovery’s chief digital officer JB Perrette, according to a report on AllThingsD.

A match made in heaven?

Considering the success Revision3 has seen in just seven years of business, it is a strong partner for Discovery in the world of online television. The company makes and distributes its own shows online, generating about 100m streams per month. In 2011, its content base grew to include popular YouTube hits Epic Meal Time and The Philip DeFranco Show.

Revision3 is also a company capable of keeping up with emerging technology, being the first to deploy a full HTML5 player across its entire platform, and its apps are compatible across multiple platforms, from smartphones to tablets to smart TVs.

However, Discovery is acutely aware of the difference in production of episodes for the web and for television. According to AllThingsD, Perrette notes that content produced for the TV channel costs US$500,000 to $750,000 an hour, but producing web content should be a fraction of that cost, and, therefore, will require a different approach.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.