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Ready for this week’s Five Questions With..? Boy, I hope so, because you’re reading it now. Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback’s been slaving away in the digital space for over 20 years, with a resume that includes stuff like Lab Director at PC Week and Editor-In-Chief of PC Magazine. Today, he adds a new word to our database of Buzzwords People Hate, defends Annoying Orange and addresses whether or not Rev3 will ever reach out to demographics beyond the 18-34-year-old male.
1. What’s the one big issue/law/attitude/restriction that you think is holding back the industry?
Internet video still keeps on being sloughed off into its own category on display and discovery devices -– I call it the “podcast ghetto.” I remember imploring the team building Media Center at Microsoft to put internet-delivered video programs into the same EPG as cable and satellite programs, but they demurred…and so has almost every device and interface manufacturer since.
Until consumers can choose their favorite shows and hosts regardless of source –- whether it be NBC, TNT or Revision3, we will continue to be the bastard red-headed stepchild of video-based entertainment. And that’s a disservice to viewers –- who have shown a remarkable propensity to enjoy our (collective) programming once they discover it –- and to advertisers, who are missing out on a great and cost effective way to deeply influence an elusive audience.
2. What industry buzzword do you never want to hear again?
Podcast. It sounds so cheap and toy. And beholden to Infinity Loop as well. We’re not creating some iPod-only craptastic content in our basement, we’re all creating real shows, real productions and delivering real audiences every day that rival the best of traditional media. Let’s call ‘em Internet-delivered video shows, video programs and video channels -– and stop confusing delivery and distribution with content value and capability.
3. If someone gave you $50 million to invest in a company in this space, which one would it be? (Mentioning your own doesn’t count.)
I’m going to draw on my experience with portfolio theory to spread the wealth around, because I’d rather invest in 10 companies than just one. So here’s my list:
- Clicker: They are trying to create a level playing field for all types of video programming, and we need it.
- Blip.TV: Smart, nice folks who are building the picks and shovels for independent show creators.
- Tom Morgan’s New Streaming Video Startup: I can’t say much more about it, but it’s very exciting and could really change the balance of power in the industry.
- Viddler: Rob Sandie’s one of the smartest developers and leaders in the industry, and gets ignored because he’s in backwoods Pennsylvania. But he’s building a great B2B internet video service that’s flying under the radar, but signing up some really big clients.
- Bazaar Labs: These guys created the Miso iPhone app, which lets you turn video viewing into a game a la Foursquare and Gowalla. They’re talented and visionary, and with a little capital might be able to build something special.
- Newtek: The Tricaster is changing the face of live television.
- Sonos: I don’t have any inside information, but if they build a whole-home video solution that rivals their audio products, our lives will never be the same.
- $5M each to Roku, Boxee and Syabas. Each could become the breakout hit in over-the-top hardware. I think Roku’s best positioned right now, Boxee’s got great vision, and Syabas (maker of the Popbox) is the dark horse that could gallop ahead.
4. What was the last video (that you weren’t personally involved with) that you liked enough to spread to others?
Dane Boedigheimer’s (aka Daneboe) Annoying Orange. Sure it’s annoying, but also oddly compelling. And because I spend a lot of time with 10-14 year old boys while coaching my son’s hockey team, I have a captive audience that’s highly receptive to that type of humor.
5. WILD-CARD: Revision3 has done well when it comes to reaching the 18-35 year old male audience. But will there ever come a time when you see value in reaching out to other demographics?
Absolutely. Today we’re laser-focused on super-serving the 18-35 year old male audience because focus is the right way to build a media business –- it makes it easier to target advertisers, to cross promote new shows through your old ones, and to keep a small staff on point. But once we saturate this demographic, we’ll be moving out. I can’t say whether it’ll be to younger or older guys, or women -– because we haven’t decided yet -– but embracing new demographics is a key part of our 10-year plan of global domination.
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