Revision3 CRO Brad Murphy: ‘We’re Moving Beyond the Standard Pre-roll World’

/ Jul 25, 2013


If the world of web content can be described as a battlefield, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a better general for your armies than Brad Murphy.

As chief revenue officer at Revision3, Murphy had a seat in one of the first startups around the new media world. He’s overseen shifts in talent, platform, and the acquisition of Revision3 by Discovery, which has shifted the scope of what web entertainment startups can do.

“Putting the Band Back Together”

It all started at a tech-based television channel, TechTV. In 2005, TechTV alum Kevin Rose, Jay Adelson, and David Prager formed Revision3. In 2007, another TechTV veteran, Jim Louderback joined as the CEO. In 2009, Murphy — another of the TechTV team — joined Revision3 as their chief revenue officer.

“It was like putting the band back together,” says Murphy, “We were way ahead of our time. [Revision3] was a startup for the digital world.” Revision3 had a reasonable (and often reproduced) model for the web content world: direct relationship with advertisers, reducing production costs, and building a deeper connection with the audience through their hosts and other talent.

As CRO, Murphy notes, “I’m tasked with generating revenue for Revision3.” Murphy is charged with accomplishing this goal through advertising, sales, sponsorship opportunities, and more. “We started with a model adapted from Howard Stern, radio, even traditional television,” notes Murphy, “a host/endorsement model, but modernized for the digital space.”

Display to Dynamic

Murphy has seen advertising move from display to dynamic, with early iTunes videos only allowing static in-video plugs of products and services. More modern platforms like YouTube have allowed Revision3 to utilize pre-roll advertising, lower thirds, and more, as well as the space to change the ads served on their back catalogue of content, allowing Revision3 to thrive on new and different deals.

“Revision3 content producers work on a rev-share model and they’re entrusted to do great things for advertisers.” That trust — that faith in creators — has allowed Revision3 to prosper in the ever-changing world of web video. With a roster of creators that includes trusted game critic Adam Sessler (another TechTV alum), YouTube powerhouse Philip DeFranco, and recently announced feline addition Lil Bub, Revision3 has a proven track record of solid hosts making solid programming, which advertisers are able to successfully associate their brands with.

In fact, when Phil DeFranco was asked by Adweek about the Revision3 deal in May 2013, he noted that “[Revision3 is] great at brand integration, and just giving us resources. For example, with SourceFed Nerd, we’ve been able to produce good content, get fantastic hosts, get early access to things, and they have a great ad sales team.”

Life With Discovery

When the May 2012 acquisition of Revision3 by Discovery was announced, Peter Kafka of AllThingsD noted that, “The idea is that Revision3 will continue to make its own web shows, which generate some 100 million streams a month, and that Discovery will eventually figure out ways to sync up some of its own stuff into the mix.” The exact structure of Discovery and Revision3 isn’t known, but it certainly seems to be paying off.

More than one year after the Discovery deal, Murphy remains at his post as chief revenue officer. With the move from startup to life as part of Discovery, Murphy has seen some changes to his day-to-day, but much of it has simply expanded. “[Revision3 and Discovery] actually share the same sales team. There’s collaborative selling between Revision3 and Discovery producers,” notes Murphy, “We’re going beyond the standard pre-roll world … and introducing the brand to the host-end model, which has led to many additional marketing efforts.”

Since the Discovery deal, Revision3 has seen good fortunes, including deals with previously mentioned YouTuber Phil DeFranco, a wide expansion of their audience base, and a tripling of video streams. At the helm, continuing to gather revenue for Revision3 is Brad Murphy. “I see the overall impact of the campaigns,” says Murphy, “It’s great to see the sum of all the parts.”

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