I was one of the most active Revver creators soon after the video site launched two years ago (see “Getting Rich on Revver“), and paved the way for ad-revenue sharing with creators. This very blog was an offshoot of an unofficial Revver blog called Revverberation.
So I’m saddened to see that Revver sold (according to NewTeeVee) for under $5 million to LiveUniverse (if I had any money to invest I would certainly have put it into Revver in 2005 before taking a risk with popular but revenue-lite YouTube). Revver, according to NewTeevee’s Liz Gannes, had raised $12.7 million from Comcast, Turner, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Richards and William Randolph Hearst III. In a report earlier this month, CNET News.com cited sources who said the beleaguered Revver was asking for between $300,000 and $500,000 and the assumption of the company’s debt, which the sources said was in the $1 million range.
Founded by Brad Greenspan (who founded MySpace), LiveUniverse operates multiple sites, including video-sharing service LiveVideo. CNET reports that ” Revver’s staff, which is half the size it was in 2006, was ecstatic to hear that the company was saved and that they would not be broken up or moved, according to two Revver employees.” No official word from Revver, and the Revver blog (which has been quiet for days) hasn’t yet mentioned the firesale.
It was only a matter of time before Revver sold, because it has struggled as a third-tier video site with a compelling model but little traffic. I made $2600 on my videos, but that number has been largely flat as distribution was minimal and ad-premiums went from profitable end-frame ads to bottom-feeder text ads. Payments have been issued late (see Revver Forum post) and rumors floated that Revver was paying creators on credit-card debt.
So the good news, dear Revver employees, is you still have a job for now. The bad news is that I’m not sure LiveUniverse is much more than an ad network, and a equally struggling site called LiveVideo (which has been on the decline according to Alexa stats).