WMA, VCs and AT&T Launch Digital Media Fund

The next couple stories go hand-in-hand.First we have BetaNews’ Jacqueline Emigh covering a JupiterResearch prediction that “it will become increasingly important for the entertainment industry to find new business models along with new device paradigms,” which shouldn’t catch anyone too off guard.Secondly, we have this related news (via Digital Media Forum):

Hollywood talent agency William Morris Agency (WMA) announced on Monday that it has partnered with venture capital firms Accel Partners and Venrock, and telco giant AT&T (NYSE: T) to establish a new investment fund to seed start-ups in Southern California and elsewhere. The joint fund will be managed by Richard Wolpert, a former president of Disney Online and chief strategy officer at RealNetworks.

The New York Times reports that the fund’s initial financing will be in the “tens of millions of dollars,” which will be doled out in investments as small as $250,000, or up to several million dollars, to start-ups developing online content, social networking, mobile games and advertising services.

AT&T is interested in potential technologies that will facilitate ads and social networking on mobile phones, The Times reported.

William Morris is not the first talent agency to look to pairing up with venture capital firms.

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has been looking to raise as much as $150 million for a digital entertainment and technology fund, The Times reports, while ICM and Endeavor are also looking to prosper from ties with technology firms.

United Talent Agency (UTA) owns a stake in 60Frames, the digital entertainment studio it helped start with ad agency Spot Runner.

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