This week a big time talent agent in LA told me that one thing sorely lacking from the net is entertainment. I think he's right. You can buy stuff on the net, get information, play games, read movie reviews, watch trailers, find TV listings, and read gossip. But "Hollywood entertainment"– the kind that gets consumers to pay big bucks for – that's something else.
It's not like they aren't trying. Talent agencies like Creative Artists Agency and William Morris have recently struck deals with technology companies to make what looks like some powerhouse combinations for putting Hollywood type entertainment on the net.
South Park and other shows on animation sites like Macromedia's (MACR) Shockwave.com show that the future of web entertainment will certainly include animation.
Some, like pop.com, backed by Dreamworks SKG and others are pushing in the direction of original entertainment programming, making independent films, and short features including live action.
But the broader question is whether the net provides the unlimited potential as a new entertainment medium as many expect. Certainly this potential goes beyond the niche category of animation.
Can these new Hollywood entertainment companies become to the net what they are in the non-net world? Can they enjoy the multiple millions of viewers enjoyed by such web powerhouses as eBay (EBAY) and Yahoo (YHOO)?