May 23, 2013
Discovery is launching its first online video network today in an attempt to attract largely young, male viewers who are becoming more challenging to reach through traditional TV. Called TestTube, the new online network will initially offer 15 original short-form shows that focus on science and adventure, available for free via YouTube, Xbox and TestTube’s website. The network was developed with online video producer Revision3, which Discovery acquired last year.
“Discovery, like other traditional TV networks, faces increasing competition from a growing array of online video options,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “A recent study by Nielsen found that people under 35 are watching more online video and less TV. Discovery’s flagship Discovery Channel lost 6 percent of its viewers in the 18-34 age group this past season, according to Nielsen, although it boosted its overall viewership. Discovery emphasizes that the channel’s target audience is 25-54. The new network gives Discovery a chance to reach those younger people.”
While other media companies have been experimenting with online programming, Discovery has until this point been reluctant to adopt the TV Everywhere strategy.
“TestTube will be a fusion of the quirky YouTube culture that Revision3 has played in for years and the more polished Discovery content and talent,” explains WSJ. “Series will range from ‘Shots of Awe,’ from online video futurist Jason Silva, to ‘Nature Hates You,’ made with remixed footage from Discovery’s archives.”
According to the TestTube site: “TestTube is a network for all ages where it’s cool to be smart and curiosity is the fuel. We are a digital network, born from the fabric of the Internet where optimism travels, like a virus, at the speed of light. We develop, nurture and discover the shows that have you talking at the water cooler, at the bar and on your feed — ‘You have to see this…’ Our hosts are experts, not actors, and our shows are authentic, challenging and irreverent. We’re inspiration junkies in an expanding universe of information where we question anything and test everything.”
“If you had to think about what Discovery would look like if you invented it today for the Millennial generation, TestTube is that image,” said JB Perrette, chief digital officer of Discovery Communications.
“We’re looking forward to inspiring, entertaining, teaching and satisfying curiosity with TestTube,” added Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3. “Plus, I love seeing things blow up in slow motion.”