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Discovery Channel Buys Revision3 for $30 Million (allthingsd.com)
87 points by protomyth 2031 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

Here's a press release: http://revision3.com/blog/2012/05/03/discovery-communication... And here's why Discovery wants them: http://revision3.com/about

    72% 18-34 year olds
    99.6% audience recall for 1 or more sponsor
    56% of Revision3 viewers have purchased a product or service from a show sponsor

Kevin Rose has 3 of his company have major exits within months. There has been a lot of discussion about him in the past because he doesn't fit the mold of a HN "hacker". Regardless of his methods/role, the results are impressive.

Congrats to Rev3. They've always produced some really good content and a lot of stuff I've watched as religiously as I would a TV programme.

I think the price is interesting. Especially when you compare it to other exits, particularly Instagram. AFAIK Rev3 had a decent, proven business model and have been growing and expanding in different directions (distributing content from other content producers). We don't know exactly why Instagram was bought (defensive move, user/photo data) but when you compare the two the Instagram price seems ridiculous.

(I personally think buying Instagram was a smart move by Facebook and I understand the price it just seems crazy when you compare the exit of a company with a proven business model to that of a company with no business model and no plan for one).

    > AFAIK Rev3 had a decent, proven business model
Definitely and that may have been a problem: the business model was certain and their valuation could be easily calculated. OTOH, Instagram's business model is uncertain and their valuation was calculated based on "comps" rather than on business model performance, leading to a much wider range of valuations. Add to that the fact Instagram became a leader in a hot market where Revision3 became an also-ran in a legacy market and their relative valuations make more sense.

Wild to think they might have a bigger exit than Digg.

Why is that?

For starters,

1. Diggnation was the flagship and highest rated show for much of rev3's life.

2. All of the founders were full-time employees of Digg when they were working on Rev3. In fact, at least one of them has publicly stated that Rev3 would not exist if it hadn't been for the digg salaries.

That's very interesting. I used to use Digg but moved away from it because of the signal/noise issue. Then after they changed the UI at some point a ton of people came over to reddit and I remember it was a big deal.

Because Digg was enormous and now it's worthless?

Anyone know how much funding they have gotten. I'm happy for them, but it doesn't seem like a big win.

The thought of TRS or some of their other shows showing up on cable makes me super happy


Series A, 9/06 1 Greylock Partners - $1M

Series B, 6/07 2 Greylock Partners - $8M

It says "about $10m" in the 3rd paragraph.

Do you really think Discovery would sacrifice ratings juggernauts like American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior, The Devils Ride, or American Guns to air anything Revision3 makes? Yeah, unfortunately, me neither.

Sadly, I'm part of the reason, since I enjoy Deadliest Catch.

Discovery owns a lot more than a single channel - they own 13. It's possible that they could use these programs on Science, or maybe for a late night block on The Hub (as an Adult Swim competitor), or somewhere else.

(Or else not - it might be valuable to have Internet-only programs.)

A little off topic maybe, but I have literally never hear of any of those shows you listed..

OTOH, I do watch revisio3 shows from time to time and I can name many of their sponsors.

Sometimes you get lucky (like instagram) but revision3 hustled to thrive where many failed in video. Kudos to Louderback and team!!

Discovery Communications owns a couple strange properties. I was shocked when I discovered they owned PetFinder.com.

They also own some fairly nasty patents, so they are quite an interesting company.

example: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090317/1826164156.shtml

$30 million for Revision3, $1 billion for Instagram. Is there really that much of a gap in value between these two companies?

I know I followed Rev3 closely because I enjoyed old-school TechTV. I also know I'm not an Instagram user. Am I the minority, here? Just trying to understand what's at play here, and what it means for the future.

Honestly? No one gives a crap about content. It's not exactly worthless, but it's been pretty solidly commoditized. Which company do you think had more content? Revision3 or Instagram? My guess is Instagram had 100x more content than Rev3.

The way a company like Revision3 gets a big valuation is by having massive distribution AND a big hit that goes mainstream, much like what Draw with Me did for OMGPOP. Revision3 never had a crossover hit that the average Joe watched. They stayed niche, and $30m is maybe as much as they could get for that audience and distribution footprint.

Meanwhile Instagram had MASSIVE distribution, in the millions, AND was generating content at an epic clip. No one piece of Instagram content might be as "sticky" or engaging as a single piece of Revision3 content, but wouldn't you want to have all those photos instead of a bunch of shows watched by a small but fervent audience?

The actual content is not really niche compared to a lot of podcast style video. Gadgets/Films/Gaming are mass appeal. Their delivery and style just gets access to a particular type of audience. In that sense they are very similar to Instagram.

Given all the articles about people being pretty unhappy with not being able to watch Game of Thrones on HBO, I don't think content is commoditized. I also don't think a picture on Instagram is equivalent to an episode of GoT.

Game of Thrones is world-class Content with a capital "C". Revision3 had nothing so valuable or desired. That was my point. Their content never really escaped the commodity zone.

"$30 million for Revision3, $1 billion for Instagram. Is there really that much of a gap in value between these two companies?"

Yeah, only one was perceived as a threat to Facebook.

For every instagram, there's 100 Revision3 stories... other other "acqui-hires" for a few million.

$10m raised over 3 rounds, $30m exit... probably not a great outcome for any of the investors.

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