Revision3 Celebrates Five Years, But Can It Survive Without Kevin Rose?

UPDATED: So YouTube (s GOOG) and aren’t the only web video companies to be born during the Chinese year of the Rooster. Revision3 is celebrating its five-year anniversary this month as well, with a gala event planned for June 25 in San Francisco — though the network’s first-ever video, a Systm episode showing you how to build a war spying box, actually premiered on May 23, 2005.

According to CEO Jim Louderback in a phone interview, Rev3 was profitable on an EBIT basis in Q4 2009, and it expects to reach consistent profitability in the fourth quarter this year. “We’ve proven that you can build a profitable business on top of internet video,” Louderback said. “Success for us is building an Internet video company that understands what it is as it evolves.”

Looking back over the last five years, Louderback said that he’d wished Rev3 had embraced both short-form and long-form content earlier in its life, but took pride in how the company has stayed focused on its target audience, the 18-34-year-old geeky male. “We didn’t stray from that, didn’t try to do shows for mommybloggers or kids,” he said. “We figured out what we wanted to do and we’ve been very consistent.”

A big part of that brand has been the Alex Albrecht and Kevin Rose-hosted Diggnation, and literally ten minutes after I hung up with Louderback, TechCrunch posted a rumor that Kevin Rose would be leaving the Rev3 flagship show (it has not been my day, guys). We’re waiting to hear back from Louderback and/or Rev3 regarding this, but while there’s no specific word about Rose, Louderback and I did actually talk in our initial conversation about the role that Diggnation plays in Rev3’s current ecosystem.

While losing Diggnation “would be a loss,” according to Louderback, Tekzilla has been getting more viewership for over a year now. And most importantly, while in 2006 and 2007 Diggnation made up 95 percent of Rev3’s revenue, that has since changed — the Albrecht/Rose series is now responsible for less than 20 percent. Louderback also cited Scam School, App Judgment, and The Digg Reel as three shows whose popularity is closing in on Diggnation‘s. “We’ve built a core group of properties that are just as big if not bigger than Diggnation,” he said. “We could survive, and thrive, without it.”

UPDATE: Kevin Rose said on Twitter that “i’m staying on w/diggnation through 2010 and will be announcing a new show very soon!”

Along those lines, Louderback commented via phone that, “We’re working on a new show with Kevin, which may have caused the rumor to come up. And we haven’t even started thinking about 2011 yet — we’ll do that in the fourth quarter of this year.”

Looking forward to 2015, Louderback hopes that “We’re perceived as the number one network for guys and the stuff they’re passionate about. There’s a lot of room for us to develop out — we currently have nothing on cars, sports, travel, dating and relationships… These are all areas we can grow in.”

He also sees Rev3 trying to increase its influence internationally. “Even though we’ve got some viewers outside the U.S., we know our content would be of interest to English-speaking areas. I’d like to be number one not just in the U.S., but worldwide.

“That’s probably enough to do in five years,” he added.

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