The Forbes Media and Electronic Entertainment Forum will bring together the world of new technology and traditional or "old Hollywood" over three days on Oct. 24-26 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The theme is "Reaping Riches in the Media and Entertainment Revolution."
It sounds like a very contemporary issue, but in fact, Hollywood has many times over the years fought, then embraced, emerging technology.
The perceived threats go back to the days of "talkies," though today's questions are more complex. Internet television, music and film file sharing and wireless and broadband content delivery could all supplant major revenue-producing divisions of modern media firms.
The good news for Hollywood?
History shows that for every time the media and entertainment establishment has dreaded new technology, ultimately it has caught on to the new wave to build entirely new sales and profit streams. For example, at its peak in 1990, more than 200 million VCRs were sold globally each year. Today the DVD business brings in $9 billion a year in the U.S., equal to the box-office revenue the films bring in at the nation's movie theaters.
Opening the Oct. 24 session will be a sit-down with Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive of InteractiveCorp and Expedia Inc. and Michael Eisner, former chairman and chief executive of the Walt Disney Co. Discussion and lecture topics include segments on Internet TV, "cellivision," video games, music downloading and user-generated content.
For more information on the confab, check the Web site ForbesConferences.com.
The Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 50 list will be announced at an invitation-only reception on Wednesday.
Now in its 10th year, the list rates Los Angeles firms based on growth and achievements in technological applications for a broad range of sectors. The actual rankings aren't official yet, but Deloitte spokeswoman Christine Brodeur confirmed that a media and entertainment firm, Univision Communications Inc., has made the list for the first time.
High on Fiber
Executives at MRV Communications Inc., a provider of optical transport, metro Ethernet fiber optic components and out-of-band-networking products, are turning the boardroom equivalent of cartwheels.
The Chatsworth firm has received notification that two of its key products, the LambdaDriver LD1600 and LD800, have passed the Network Equipment Building Systems Level 3 safety tests. MRV spokesman David Rodewald explained last week that it certifies the equipment as meeting all safety standards for central office applications, despite the high level of heat and electricity surging through its fiber optic wires.
And in layman's terms?
"It means it's not going to catch fire and it's not going to explode."
MRV had more than $250 million in revenue last year through its three offices in Los Angeles, Boston and Israel.
'He's So Cute!'
For single men, walking an adorable canine is a time-tested method of meeting women. Los Angeles-based Userplane.com Inc., newly acquired by AOL, is helping two up-and-coming social networking sites take that concept online. The messaging and audio-visual chat tool provider has sealed deals with Dogstser Inc. and Catster Inc. The two sister pet destinations rolled out Userplane's messaging systems in August.
MusicIP Corp., a Monrovia-based search engine technology provider, will build out its digital music offerings with Ripfactory, a European provider of CD digitizing services. Ripfactory will use its software development kits to add playlist generation, music analyses and other custom features.
MusicIP provides technology that analyzes music to choose music that a user might enjoy, based on the sort of music they like.
Michael Lynton, the former chairman and chief executive of AOL International and AOL Europe, was enlisted to head the Multiple Sclerosis Society's 32nd "Dinner of Champions" at the Century Plaza Hotel recently.
The evening raised more than $2.6 million for the MS Society. A particularly moving was a speech delivered by the daughter of Revolution Studios co-owner Tom Sherak, Melissa Sherak, who has been battling the disease for more than a decade.
Lynton has since moved on to become chief executive of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which has explored numerous technology initiatives with its film division.
Staff reporter Dan Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 230.
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