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Hollywood's new screen

Two years ago, Hollywood talent agent Ari Emanuel made a statement about the future of media. He said he could see a time when certain movies premiered on Facebook instead of in theatres.

social media Updated: Feb 04, 2012 22:46 IST

Two years ago, Hollywood talent agent Ari Emanuel made a statement about the future of media. He said he could see a time when certain movies premiered on Facebook instead of in theatres. "For the $150 million movie, you'll still need to go to Warner Brothers, but for the $25 million movie, probably not," he said at a San Francisco conference.

After a decade of war with Silicon Valley, Hollywood executives are increasingly looking at deals with firms such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon.

The initial public offering documents that Facebook filed this past week reveal just how big an advertising and distribution juggernaut it has become. Going public is a seminal moment for a company. It means the world gets to see once-private financial statements. Employees and investors who have been paid largely in stock or some other illiquid compensation finally can turn that into cash.

Already, founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has signed up Netflix, Hulu and the music service Spotify as content-sharing partners.

Even for a company with Facebook's massive distribution, true content deals with Hollywood don't get done without hundreds of millions of dollars changing hands.

As a private company, Facebook didn't have that kind of money. As a public company, it will have it in torrents. The world's eyeballs are increasingly online. It is where Hollywood will go as well.

Fred Vogelstein is a contributing editor for Wired magazine.