(this post originally appeared on The Huffington Post)
Sure, many thought it was just a stunt, but we were serious. So serious, in fact, that I’m even willing to give him substantial ownership stake in Revision3, if he makes the jump here over to Internet Television.
Why should he? Well first, the internet will let Conan be Conan. Anyone who loved his late night show knows that NBC has been trying to morph the guy we know and love into Jay Leno – or something else that will appeal to a broad, bland group of viewers, rather than the core that made him famous.
Network television is all about focus groups, adapting your persona to the lowest common denominator, and being all things to all people. That’s how we ended up with Kate Gosselin, the Kardashians, Paris Hilton and Jerry Springer. Internet television, by contrast, is all about authenticity, and letting the true you come out. I’m confident that an internet version of The Conan O’Brien show will be funnier, edgier, more credible and more innovative. And that will translate into more profits – both for Conan and for Revision3.
There’s precedence. Howard Stern leaped over to Sirius, and put the satellite radio network on the map. Sure, it didn’t work out as well as he’d hoped, but that’s because satellite radio is still a walled garden. On the internet, you can reach essentially anyone who has the potential to be a Conan fan.
And that’s another reason why Conan should bypass Fox, ABC or any other TV network coming to call. Global domination. By moving to Revision3, we can guarantee that anyone, anywhere in the world (with access to the internet) will be able to watch every single episode, in its entirety, forever.
We don’t have onerous carriage rights that restrict where and when the show can be watched. We don’t have licensing agreements that only allow a few minutes of the show to appear on Hulu or YouTube. That’s because the way to build an audience in the internet generation is by removing all limitations, and putting the audience in charge of the experience.
And that will translate into a better show – both for Conan O’Brien and for his current and future fans. The man (and his coworkers) are pure entertainment geniuses. But in the end, Conan is just too big, too special, and too authentic to be tied down to even a US broadcast network. Conan’s voice – and own special brand of entertainment – deserve to be viewed not just by the 300 million people in the US, but by the 6 billion people around the world.
And in the end, that’s what Revision3 has to offer Conan: a worldwide audience, and a seat at the table at the next big media company, sitting at the epicenter of the biggest media transition the world has ever seen. How can he say no?
Read our full open letter to Conan O’Brien here.