After years in the shadows of "traditional" media content, the online video industry is providing struggling artists with ways to break in. One is actor Jason Horton, who was disillusioned before finding YouTube. Now he's part of its incubator class.
"Traditional media frequently knock on the doors of the digital world," Horton says. "I love seeing places like BiteSize merge the two, respecting and 'getting' what we are doing online."
PHOTO BY TED SOQUI
Ron Bloom: Envisioning a Hollywood Boulevard studio as a digital powerhouse.
Chill co-founder Brian Norgard doesn't view BiteSize as a competitor. Instead, he sees it as part of the push to get content in front of consumers. They're in the fight together.
"I am sure they'll have no problem getting their content wide," Norgard says. "You'll see more companies like this emerge in the next few years. Digital is a great incubation ground for content, and I think you'll see tons of quality material released on digital first — like Louis C.K. and Maria Bamford — and then migrate to other platforms like cable, broadcast and film."
Bloom is equally welcoming toward other players: "Good to have them in the space. Anyone doing something cool, we hope they come talk about it on our network. I don't think NBC exists without ABC."
Bloom was, by his own account, the first person to commercially use the Internet, live-streaming the 1995 Grammy Awards with his fledgling company OnRamp, which he founded with former MTV veejay Adam Curry. Now, from his new perch on the boulevard, could he help turn online video into the fiscal giant many want it to be?
*Corrections:The original story incorrectly stated that Ron Bloom alone invested $40 million when the total investment from all sources is $40 million; that the firm had $200 million in pre-roll ads when the firm had a numerical count of 200 million pre-roll ads, and that BiteSize optioned an Elvis PresleyGraceland biopic with director Rob Cohen.