Discovery Buys Revision3 To Expand Original Content

JB-Perrette-BLooking to further expand its digital footprint, Discovery Communications has entered into an agreement to buy Web video programmer Revision3. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but previous reports put the price between $30 million and $40 million.

A top digital video production company, Revision3 boasts more than 23 million monthly unique viewers across 27 digital channels -- and that’s only the beginning, according to Jean-Briac (JB) Perrette, Chief Digital Officer at Discovery Co. “We look forward to cultivating more original content,” he said.

Heading into upfront season, Discovery Co. is touting its own online video successes. With video streaming on its Web properties up 70% in 2011, Perrette said he wanted to capitalize on the growing demand for such programming. San Francisco-based Revision3 reported ad revenue growth of 53% last year.

While Revision3's programs are hosted by “online celebrities” -- including bloggers, Twitter stars and YouTube -- vloggers -- its content aligns well with Discovery’s key areas of interest, including technology, cooking and popular science.

The company has also grown its YouTube subscriber base to more than 4.5 million people -- representing a 400% annual gain.

Along with YouTube, Revision3 maintains distribution partnerships with more than 40 other partners, including iTunes, Google, AOL, Yahoo, TiVo, Roku, Boxee, CNET and Zune.

Online ad spending grew 22% to $31.7 billion last year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, with online video pushing ahead at an impressive 29% growth rate. Likely as a result, independent Web video production companies are becoming a rare breed. Before this latest deal, YouTube paid a reported $30 million to $40 million for rival video content company Next New Networks last year.

Along with investing further in Discovery.com and TLC.com, Discovery Co. has pursued growth by scooping up Petfinder.com, TreeHugger.com and HowStuffWorks.com.

To date, Revision3 has raised $10 million in two rounds from Greylock Partners, with additional funding from Marc Andreessen and Mark Cuban.

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