This is the future of Television. Or is it?

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Television is caught somewhere between being a dying a medium and, because everything will eventually be delivered over IP, a rapidly growing one. Throw in the network acquisitions of Canadian telcos and it’s easy to see why the old boob tube is in a period of transition.

Well, one network that has clearly jumped the queue is internet television network Revision 3. If anyone has staked out a unique spot in the TV universe, it’s them.

I had a chance to chat with their impressive CEO, Jim Louderback recently. If you have any interest on where television (or the ads that pay for it) is headed, you should listen to this brief interview.

With close to 30 shows including Epic Meal Time and Digg Nation and over 80 million views a month, Revision 3 is redefining the modern day network. Here’s why:

Content people care about
It costs a lot of money to put a show on television so networks have to serve up programming that serves the most number of people possible. The result is lowest common denominator content that a lot of people like but may not love. Revision 3, on the other hand, delivers shows that people actually care about. Do you really love apps? Well, they have App Judgement. Into the “Unboxing” phenomenon? You can tune into Unboxing Porn. We all have specific interests that, given the choice, we’d watch over shows made for the masses.

A new approach to advertising
On mainstream TV, we either cut to a commercial break to see a big budget spot that is repurposed across a whole whack of shows or we’re forced to endure branded content that can leave us feeling dirty. Not so with Revision 3. They’ve managed to keep church and state separate while delivering more effective ads that are actually delivered by the hosts, a taboo among conventional networks. Plus, many of the advertisers featured could never afford to advertise on TV. Now they can.

The numbers
You want unaided brand awareness? 100% (yes, 100%) of viewers can name a show sponsor. That’s unbelievable. 93% can name 2 or more. More importantly, 57% of viewers have purchased products from the sponsors. When you pair specific content with advertisers that are closely aligned to that content, the numbers aren’t surprising but still pretty impressive.

The hosts
Normally, we get pretty people who are trained to be good on TV. Revision 3 chooses to get subject matter experts who are passionate about the content. It’s substance over style. The result is a more genuine host that the viewer trusts.

Social integration
Since it’s delivered through a browser, you can not only set up network preferences, you can also Tweet it, Digg it, Like it, share it, favourite it, download it, email it, comment on it, and check in for special deals. Don’t want to actually watch at Revision3.com? No problem, you can tune in via tablet and smart phone apps or just watch on their Youtube channel. They even have Ambassadors who volunteer to help spread the word through their own social networks and face to face events.

Responsible production
Whether they appear on CBC, HBO, Netflix, or Rogers on Demand, there will always be a place for big budget shows like Boardwalk Empire and The Wire. Shows that have a smaller, more passionate viewer base will never be able to compete on production value. But with more importance being placed on the content, they don’t have to. Revision 3 balances both. Nice production. Low cost.

Is this exclusively the future of television? I don’t think so. It’ll augment standard TV and more importantly, it’ll help redefine what we watch, how we watch it and how it all gets paid for. Internet networks will continue to grow as more content is produced for smaller audiences. Many of the features that you see on internet networks will be seamlessly integrated into the shows you already watch.

I’m sure Revision 3 isn’t the last revision to the television model but as of right now, it’s certainly one of the best. To check them out, go to revision3.com.

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