Discovery reinvents itself for the Internet with TestTube

testtubeOn first glance, the math of Television Company + Science wouldn’t necessarily add up to “Online network of all-original content.” But Discovery Communications’ TestTube – what the company described as a “digital video network” launching with 15 short-form series with more in development – is actually less of a gamble than it may seem.

The network’s announcement follows the company’s purchase of Internet television production company Revision3 last year in a deal estimated to be worth $30 to $40 million. As part of the buyout, Discovery seeks to leverage that studio’s appeal to a younger (and potentially more affluent) audience. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Discovery’s Chief Digital Officer JB Perrette said the service is catered to today’s generation. “If you had to think about what Discovery would look like if you invented it today for the millennial generation, TestTube is that image.”

And that image is on the saucier side of things. Amongst TestTube’s launch line up is a new home for Laci Green’s “Sex+”, an existing Web series in which Green discusses issues connected with sex and sexuality. Other shows include “Pick Your Poison” (literally a series in which the effects of different poisons on the human body are investigated), “Shots of Awe” (“Where science, philosophy and inspiration addiction collide,” according to the official tagline), and “Stuff Mom Never Told You,” in which host Cristen Conger “gets down to the business of being a woman and all the stuff mom never told you about bodies, boys, the female brain and more.”

In addition to the new series, TestTube will also use existing Discovery hosts and properties, including the DNews channel. Similarly, Tory Balleci of “Mythbusters” will be given his own show, “Blow It Up,” to launch later this summer. With a title like that, we can only hope that it’s just a series of shots – preferably in slow motion, of course – of various objects being blown up; no actual details about the series have been released as yet, however.

The target audience for TestTube – which will be available via TestTube.com, Revision3’s mobile site and apps, and most media streaming devices like the Apple TV, Roku, and Xbox – is the all-important 18-34 age demographic, according to reports

“This is another step in our mission to be the #1 nonfiction video and media company on all screens,” Perrette says in the official announcement of the launch. “We’ve doubled our original online video output this year, and are growing new audiences with TestTube and other digital networks that are creating great content that entertains and engages.”

TestTube is already available to view online. Hopefully, slow motion explosions will follow shortly.


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