Blog Post

Worlds Collide: Talent Agents Team with VCs

paidContent has an interesting scoop this evening about Creative Arts Agency collaborating with Draper Fisher Jurvetson and other VCs to raise $150 million to $200 million to invest in digital entertainment startups. ICM, another big Hollywood talent agency, is reportedly in discussions with Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs about forming its own venture fund.

We often ask whether VCs should fund content — in fact, we had a contentious panel on that topic at NewTeeVee Live. What about the reverse: talent agents placing bets on technology?

Taking these stereotypes further, Southern California and Northern California have two different assets — talent and innovation. They also have two different business models — the spend-money-to-make-money school versus the metrics-are-everything school. Is there such thing as a happy medium? Maybe it’s just a matter of semantics whether you want to displace or remake big media.

We’ll update soon with more analysis and video from our VC panel. In the meantime, where do you guys see this headed?

Update: Here’s another angle: The bankers at JPMorgan have set aside $200 million to invest in “film and television financings, content acquisitions, new industry ventures, and traditional and digital media start-ups.” (release)

7 Responses to “Worlds Collide: Talent Agents Team with VCs”

  1. What will the tech-crowd do to the union-happy Hollywood? As much as I have an enthusiasm for LA, and certainly recognize the amount of talent there (plus I’d love to live there), I’m kinda okay with this ‘start a Silicon Valley-based Entertainment Studio’ notion.

    Of course, if we can’t find writers anywhere, I suppose we can just put out an ad on craigslist?

  2. Seems like everyone wants to be in the entertainment industry nowadays?

    The VC and Entertainment industries are more similar than you think – both are highly dependent on the “hit” and like to bet on the serial entrepreneurs / serial producers who are most likely to create a hit.

    Though, Liz, there is plenty of innovation AND talent down here in So Cal. :)

  3. Venkatesh

    Heres the deal. With the mobile communications expanding, the next generation digital startups are going to be “real time” . Products like “Youtube Live” are closer than one thinks. CNNs and FoxNews should be ready for real threats from bazillion live channels, with internet connected mobile devices. The monopoly on breaking news or event is allready shifting. Kindle is just the start. EV-DO Enabled handy cams are round the corner. The technology is there, its a matter of getting everything else right. EV-DO handy cams to produce content and iPhone/Kindle like device to consume the same on the go.