Brent Weinstein and Eric Kuhn stopped by the studio to talk about technology in entertainment, and these guys are worth listening to. Brent is Head of Digital Media for United Talent Agency in Los Angeles, where he oversees the agency’s work in online entertainment, social media, video games, and the agency’s digital consulting practice. Eric is the department’s Head of Social Media. UTA is one of the premier agencies in Hollywood, repping the likes of Johnny Depp, Seth Rogen and Ice Cube. So, these guys are kind of a big deal. Ever read the NBA’s Twitter feed? Eric is the guy who started it, and he also created and ran the social media operations for CBS News and CNN before moving to Los Angeles (and UTA).
Brent is one of the frontline guys on the convergence of technology and entertainment. He wants to find the best digital content and then put it somewhere that you can see it. Recently, he’s been working closely with YouTube and their 100 million dollar investment into original content. He helped structure the deal that put channels like Young Hollywood on YouTube’s programming slate. Brent actually started UTA’s broadband division in 2006 making the agency the pioneer in this area. According to Brent, there’s a lot of money to be made in digital content, and it looks like a lot of technology companies are willing to bet that he’s right.
Eric works closely with clients advising them on their social media presence which has become so important in entertainment, that the bigger your online presence is, the more likely you’re desired by studios and directors. He explains the importance of managing a public image through the use of technology and the implications of success. But it’s not all about public image, it’s also about consumer response, and organizing that information. These days, companies can predict box office success up to a year in advance using social media feedback.