Funding, Old Dogs and New Tricks
March 3, 2009 10:49 AM
It’s been a bit since I blogged about the work I’ve been doing in the entertainment business. It’s in part because there were still a lot of things moving along and developing that were too early to share, and in part because there have been so many great things to talk about regarding the convergence of TV and the Web.
I’ve waited for a long time for the market to move to the place it is at the moment. As more momentum gathers around Web TV, it’s hard not to want to get into it.
But this week, I can finally share some news and new developments on how things have been going with my expansion into entertainment from Internet business. In case anybody needs a refresher on the back story, after selling my Internet startup in late 2007, I began an effort to expand into the entertainment/TV business. I have a multiplatform franchise that I’ve since co-created and developed, and late last year I launched a “transmedia” consulting and content production startup called 9. In 140 characters or less, 9 is essentially a hybrid consulting/production shop that does business and content across any platform in the market. It services brands, entertainment, Internet, media and retail companies—all arenas I have an extensive amount of experience in.
This past week, 9 closed on an angel funding round from private investors. It will be used to spark the next stage in business development and a few new production projects. I’m excited!
I’ve also been marveling at all the buzz around Twitter. It seems a lot of brands, entertainment talent and media personalities have taken it up, and this, of course, has everybody buzzing. What’s interesting is that there is almost no mention of this very same hooplah about celebrities and brands using MySpace just a few short years ago.
Dear Media and Bloggers: Yes, celebrities use the Internet. It’s not an old dog or a new trick.
What’s far more interesting to the story, in my opinion, is how celebrities are beginning to understand that they can own their own brand and control their own message via the Web. It’s an interesting shift. As for Twitter, the rage for me isn’t so much in its Web element but the fact that it is the first social network to be truly “device-agnostic.” You can Twitter via phone/text or your PC.
That’s huge for a few reasons. First, this is entirely what the Web is designed to do and will do—that’s a look at the future there. Second, the fact that users are adopting it is enormous.
User adoption, and nothing more, is the most important element on the Web. Without users adapting and adopting, even the best ideas won’t win.
If you ask me, that’s where everything you create should come from, regardless of platform. Not what advertisers love, or what investors love, but what users love. Make that and the rest will fall right into step.
It might be wishful thinking, but I hope I’ve done this with the projects I’m working on. We’ll see what happens! I can’t lie. I’m the happiest I’ve been since I started on the journey into Hollywood. Hooray!