I had said a few years ago that the Venture Capital business was becoming like the movie business. Instead of investing in an interesting technology idea that needs development, we’ve been investing in media properties that aggregate audiences.
Instead of the pitch being “this search engine will make it easier for people to find information (google)” we’ve had our head turned by “we have lots of users clicking on things (zynga)”. Moreover, the pitches include sentences structured like this “It’s like Terminator meets Driving Miss Daisy” and “we’ve already got Harrison Ford and Sandra Bullock interested.” Well, sort of like that.
And now the conversion is complete. Courtesy of this week’s Venture Capital Dispatch:
Venture capital firms are betting that AwesomenessTV and other popular YouTube channels have the potential to eventually become global media companies. In the past two weeks alone, two YouTube channels, AwesomenessTV and BalconyTV, have received funding from venture capital firms.
It may even make money for the investors, it’s always hard to tell. But at this point in the evolution of venture capital, it’s tempting to say that innovation is not the growing investment thesis — it’s media.
Expect the next hit reality TV show — whether it’s singing, dancing, or watching everyday people that don’t realize how ridiculous they are — to be funded by what we used to call venture capital. If only we had the weather and surfing of LA here in Silicon Valley, we could complete the transition. Just to stay current, I’m off to watch “The Producers“.