Jajah co-founder Roman Scharf all have in common? Besides wealth and celebrity, they're all connected to today's launch of Talenthouse entertainment network. The site promises to be a space where creators in film, fashion, visual art, music and photography showcase their work for collaboration and discovery. Scharf is Talenthouse's CEO, while Dorff and Webb have agreed to invite community members to contribute to upcoming projects.What do supermodel Veronica Webb, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and
According to the release, Talenthouse "empowers all artists to create original content, collaborate with each other and become recognized by a global audience." I know what you're thinking. Apart from the flashy graphics and Bono voice over, how is this different from YouTube or MySpace?
In addition to its sole focus on the arts, Talenthouse incorporates "Creative Invites" - a system where artists like Dallas Austin and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra invite community members to collaborate on music composition, video mash ups and even logos. While PR messaging touts that the site allows "revenue share to enable artists financial accomplishment", it appears that for now, revenue share is negotiated between artists on their collaborations. At this point, the company does not intervene with artist payment, nor do they plan to pay artists revenue share on advertising. Regular banner or text-based advertising actually isn't mentioned as a revenue model. Talenthouse does plan to offer premium artist services, branded contests and paid services for production companies, talent scouts and ad agencies.
While the site is certainly poised to gain buzz with its all-star cast of endorsers, at this point it's too soon to say if amateur artists will see benefits from this service beyond those they've seen with YouTube and other artist sites. In fact, many of the existing videos within the site are pulled from YouTube.
Music is one area where it will be tough to beat existing services. Recently we've seen Malaysian-born YouTube star Zee Avi sign a deal with Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records. Panic at the Disco and geek crooner Jonathan Coulton found their success using a combination of tools including MySpace, YouTube, BandCamp and Pure Volume. Meanwhile, for the collaboration function, Mix Match Music might be a better option as music stems and mash up mixes are priced upon upload and there is no need to negotiate financial details.
Talenthouse's success will depend not on the technology it offers, but rather the community it draws. If they can manage to wrangle more celebrity teams to flesh out profiles and issue Creative Invites, they might carve a niche in the space.