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Are New Video Networks In Trouble?

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nullLiz reports that Revision3, the online video startup behind shows such as Kevin Rose’s DiggNation (and the on-hiatus GigaOM Show), has shut down five of its shows and laid off a reported third of its people. The news prompted Kent Nichols, one of the awesome and funny duo behind the Ask a Ninja video show, to write on his blog:

Rev3 has some of the best behind the scenes talent in the online space. They have a great sales team and good leadership and a solid flagship show in DiggNation. And they can’t make it….Treat deals and shows you create for these online production companies as temporary rent money solutions, not career building moves.

If what Kent is saying is essentially true, then most of the online video networks/studios — and there are many — are in trouble. And like Revision 3, they need to refocus and scale back their ambitions in order to survive the current advertising downturn, focusing solely on their strongest franchises. To recap, I don’t think Revision3 is going away — Tekzilla and DiggNation are two of their strongest franchises with big following. Damn shame, though, that Martin Sargeant’s Internet Superstar show is being canned. Photo courtesy of Revision3

3 Responses to “Are New Video Networks In Trouble?”

  1. Mark,

    I think what you’ve wrote is spot on. If we define the various “webs” through the lens of the business structure, web 1.0 was all about innovation, web 2.0 was all about innovation + small costs/team, hopefully web 3.0 can finally take all of those and be about making money.

  2. It seems to me that Revision 3 is doing the sensible thing that a long list of tech companies are doing and it shouldn’t really be newsworthy at this point that any one company is doing it — re-evaluating projects based on changed market conditions.

    As the Sequoia slides so succinctly explained, sometimes you go for market share and sometimes you go for capital preservation. Revision 3 is doing the smart thing and reacting to the current reality — we have rapidly moved from a market share game to a capital preservation game in the high tech startup world. Kent is entirely wrong — it is not about saying Rev3 “can’t make it” but is instead about saying Rev3 is playing the game according to the new rules.

    Look at it this way — Real GDP is going to fall in 2009 and ad spend as a percentage of GDP is going to fall – this double whammy is going to knock a huge hole in US advertising spending — including new media spending on things like Rev3. Two choices if you are a new media company, diversify away from ad spend or shrink to conserve cash and see if you can weather the bad 12-18 months we have coming.