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The real-time, interactive nature of the Internet will offer revenue opportunities for content creators that were rarely available using the traditional Hollywood business model, according to venture capitalist Tim Draper.
However, taking advantage of those opportunities -- ranging from online merchandising to placing ads in front of fans -- will require building a new-media brand, says Draper, founding partner of the Silicon Valley firm Draper, Fisher Jurvetson.
Draper shared his insight after we asked him at the OnMedia conference in NY what has surprised him about the business of new media. While answering the question, Draper also put in a plug for Glam, the fast-growing online women's network in which Draper, Fisher Jurvetson has a stake.
Glam "started out as a Web site for women to come to, but it turned into this huge distribution channel," Draper says.
Because Glam hosts and distributes content from hundreds of other sites, its created one of the Top 20 advertising networks on the Web, according to data from comScore.
"It's a form none of us predicted when we invested in Glam," Draper says.
The site's user base is growing faster than that of any company DFJ has previously invested in, including Hotmail and Skype, according to Draper.
As far as the future of the Hollywood business model goes, Draper points out that making movies traditionally has been a project-oriented exercise, where a team gets together, creates a one-time product, then disperses.
But using the Web will allow creators to maintain contact with their fan base and allow for the creation of complementary online content that can help build and maintain a brand.
Under the new model, Draper expects that we will see more of what George Lucas did with Star Wars, creating a series and merchandising it heavily, rather than the creation of one-off projects.
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