Gary Vaynerchuk: Revision 3 Exclusive InterviewOct 28th, 2008 | By Elisabeth Lewin | Category: Internet TV, Making Money with Podcasts, Podcasting, Podcasting Networks, Video, Video Podcasts
Among the announcements Monday from Internet TV network Revision 3 was the discontinuation of its licensing agreement with the popular video podcast, Wine Library TV. Rev3 had produced a special edition of the show featuring highlights of the daily series called Wine Library Reserve.
I caught up with the creator and host of Wine Library TV, Gary Vaynerchuk, by phone to ask about his perspective on the cutbacks and layoffs at Revision 3.
Vaynerchuk learned of the changes just before they were made public Monday morning. “I’m close with all those guys. I’ve been so busy the last while, we hadn’t talked.Â Looking back, I guess I should’ve known something was up, should have had an idea what was up from their phone messages.”
The Revision 3 staff member who edited the daily Wine Library shows into the network’s highlight Reserve series was laid off, along with a reported eight other employees.
Vaynerchuk was surprised by the decision, but not disappointed.
Of the staff and the stars of the cancelled shows at Revision 3, Vaynerchuk couldn’t say enough good things.Â “I have an enormous amount of love for these guys.Â They are the best of the best.Â We’ve been on the phone several times today, looking for new ways to work with them in the future.”
The personalities behind the three Rev 3-produced shows which were cancelled “have a lot of devoted fans in this [Internet/social media] space,” Vaynerchuk said. “Sarah [Lane] and Martin [Sargent] are great. People love them so much, and you’re going to see a lot of blogs and Tweets expressing that for awhile.”
Nevertheless, Vaynerchuk says that the show cancellations and the suspension of licensing agreements with his own Wine Library TV and with Epic Fu are “not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.” He continued, “which was the situation here, itâ€™s not a good decision to keep on spending money there.Â They have a core audience of really wired fans, the three shows they cancelled just weren’t being watched.Â Itâ€™s smart business.”
“It’s hard right now for the people involved, but you should look at this as a tremendous example of people being smart, doing business in a smart way.Â These are the kind of decisions that should be made all the time, not just when times are hard.”
Vaynerchuk, known to his devotees as Gary Vee, is characteristically upbeat about how the discontinuation of Wine Library Reserve will affect him and his “personal brand.”
“I’ll come out ahead in the long run.Â I have so many good things on the horizon,” Vaynerchuk says. “I’m working on a cruise for next year. The viewership of Wine Library Reserve was good. Our viewership was not huge there, but I’m absolutely sure we gained some new viewers who didn’t know what Wine Library TV was, from this time we worked with Rev 3.
“It’s crazy – my personal brand is changing. It’s not just about wine any more. I’m an expert on wine, but increasingly, I’m an expert on social media, because of all the conferences and lectures I’ve been giving about social media, and I’m developing that side of my personal brand at GaryVaynerchuk.com.”
It has been widely reported that the changes at Rev3 were prompted, at least in part, by the recent economic downturn. I asked Vaynerchuk to share how the current climate events affect him, and his advice for other content creators.
“I’m taking a hard look at everything I’m doing, getting lean, getting in better shape. I’ve cut a thousand SKU’s from Wine Library inventory lately. An economic downturn makes you re-examine what you’re doing, and that’s a good thing. These kind of decisions are practical, and should be made during good times, too.
“People talk about getting lean, training, getting ready, getting into shape, maybe for a fight, a boxing match. You can be training all the time, but right before the fight, you get into really, really good shape. You get really quick, really lean. That’s what people are doing now, getting lean, getting their business, their brand, into shape. And that is not a bad thing. That’s a smart thing to do, regardless of the economy.”