Online content creators often look at advertisers’ spending on broadcast television with jealous eyes. There may be 800 million eyeballs out in the Webiverse, but brand spending on TV is still somewhere between 35-60x what it is on web video advertising, depending on whose study is sourced. Does that set up New Media vs. not-so-new in a zero sum Mortal Kombat face-off?
Many of us producing web video expect that the gap between where the viewers are heading–or in many cases already are (when was the last time your teenager watched a scripted program on the TV set?)–and where advertisers are spending to narrow. And at an International Academy of Web Television lunch during the NewFronts second week, a panel that included Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise and Jim Louderback of Revision3 made a compelling case that web video and TV content are different enough to co-exist with complimentary growth. Web video, the panel agreed, is three S-things TV is not: Searchable, Social and replete with topics that are Scarce on broadcast. The challenge clearly is to develop metrics that prove to sponsors who is watching the web, metrics that also make a connection to sales. Revision3, said Louderback, has already had success tying viewer impressions to subsequent purchases through social feedback.
Asked by the moderator however about reports Revision3 was in talks with Discovery to be acquired for $30-40 million, the web CEO was less chatty. ”I don’t comment on rumors,” said Louderback.
The next day Discovery Communications announced it’s buying Revision3 for $30-40 million, bringing legacy TV and New TV that much closer together.