Lifehacker published the first episode of its new weekly web series today, showcasing “urban survival” tips ranging from ways to tether your cell phone to attempts of opening a wine bottle with a shoe.
The show is produced by Revision3, and it’s an interesting step for both companies: Lifehacker parent Gawker has been missing a coherent video strategy, and Revision3 has only recently started to collaborate with other established online brands to produce original content. Check out the first episode below:
The show is shot by the Lifehacker editorial team in Los Angeles, then edited by Revision3. It’s the second deal like this for Revision3 after the studio teamed up with The Onion in December to produce a video edition of the popular AV Club podcast. Revision3 originally tried to produce a number of shows with partners years ago, including a short-lived GigaOM TV show, but the studio has had more success recently with formats it developed in-house. So why is Revision3 now tapping blogs like Lifehacker for new shows?
“The answer is audience,” said Revision3’s VP of programming and production Ryan Vance during a phone interview. Brands like Lifehacker already have a huge audience, which largely overlaps with Revision3’s target demographic of young men. “It’s a rather new strategy, but one that I’m really excited about,” said Vance.
Revision3 hasn’t had any further talks with Gawker about producing shows for other network sites, but Vance didn’t want to rule it out. The studio will still produce its own shows in-house, but it also wants to expand its coverage to topics like sports or cars, with the goal of targeting “passionate communities” in each of these areas. Said Vance: “I think there are geeks in every single possible content space.”
The San Francisco-based studio clocked some 42 million monthly views in December, and it said it became profitable in Q4 of 2010 while growing its overall revenue 80 percent last year. Revision3 hasn’t revealed any revenue totals.
The web series could also help to kick-start Gawker’s online video strategy. The blog network hasn’t had much original content on any of its sites, and has instead largely reposted existing TV and web video footage. Content producers and celebrities have on occasion taken issue with this practice, but few went as far as actor Eric Dane, who sued Gawker for the publication of a sex tape. Gawker defended its action as protected by fair use, but eventually settled the case out of court and removed the video.