Revision 3 Cuts Staff, Ends Deal With WineLibrary, Epic FuOct 27th, 2008 | By Elisabeth Lewin | Category: Internet TV, Making Money with Podcasts, Podcasting, Podcasting Networks, Video, Video Podcasts
Revision 3, the video podcast production network launched by Digg founders Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson, today announced the elimination of three of its original shows. The layoffs are said to include nine staff members. The cancelled shows are Pop Siren, Internet Superstar, and the longer-running Photoshop show Pixel Perfect.
Of the two newer shows, Internet Superstar, and Pop Siren, which were cancelled, Revision 3 said that they were promising prospects that “never really found their audience.”
In addition to the three series cancellations, Revision 3 is also eliminating its licensing and distribution deals with two popular podcasts: Epic Fu, and Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV. The announcement said “We remain huge fans of these two shows, even though they donâ€™t fit our long-term plans at Revision3.”
Kent Nichols, co-creator of the popular Ask A Ninja series, says Revision 3 “has some of the best behind the scenes talent in the online space.Â They have a great sales team and good leadership and a solid flagship show in DiggNation.” In the face of their decision to make staffing and programming cutbacks, Nichols urges common sense and caution as the “bumpy ride is just beginning:”
“Treat deals and shows you create for these online production companies as temporary rent money solutions, not career building moves.
Itâ€™s still better to go the indie route, get attention, sell enough DVDs and Tees to pay your investors back and try to sell your idea to Hollywood for real money under a WGA contract that perserves a ton of rights for you as the creator…
…[P]lease realize that thereâ€™s no free lunch.Â The deals out there right now are low money (and even at the low money they are offering, they are apparently non-sustaining to companies) and the deals can vaporize overnight.Â In that sort of turmoil, itâ€™s hard [to] base a career or life decisions on something that [can] disappear overnight….”
Is this a reflection of poor viability for podcasting or of new media?
Probably not. The cutbacks come at a time when many media companies (new and old) are dramatically reducing staff. Internet startups are being advised by their financial backers to pare staff and expenses to the minimum, so as to make that venture capital last as long as possible.
Gary Vaynerchuk, creator and host of Wine Library TV, one of the shows previously carried by Revision 3 (in a specially-edited “Reserve” edition), said in an interview this evening that the situation “is not a bad thing. If you can’t monetize against content, which was the situation here, it’s not a good decision to keep on spending money there.Â It’s smart business. These are the kind of decisions that should be made all the time, not just when times are hard.”