Ryan Seacrest And Kevin Systrom Are Merging Hollywood And Silicon Valley

Kevin Systrom Ryan Seacrest VarietyVariety/Gregg Segal‘We’re really both helping each other understand the other’s world,’ Kevin Systrom tells Variety.

After bonding over their shared love of cooking during lunch in the Facebook headquarters’ cafeteria last year, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom and “American Idol” host/
jack of all tradesRyan Seacrest forged a
mutually beneficial friendship.

“Having Ryan give me feedback on the platform, it’s extremely helpful,” Systrom, who sold his photo sharing app to Facebook in 2012 for $US1 billion, told Variety. “We’re really both helping each other understand the other’s world.”

Seacrest — he of the showbiz world — uses Instagram to keep his nearly two million followers up to date on all of his latest projects. And he regularly posts to his nearly 11 million Twitter followers.

“I just had dinner with Kevin Systrom at my house the other night,” Seacrest humbebragged in April, noting, “I get to know what Instagram is doing.”

But in addition to celebrities promoting themselves on social media, Hollywood is also embracing digital media in the film industry.

“The convergence is really that people with a message — whether it’s your new movie or a new song — need a way to reach the largest audience and get your message out,” Systrom continued. “It’s about exploring ways to reach audiences and fans in more scalable ways than ever before. And visuals are a natural way to broadcast your message.”

Seacrest seconds Systrom’s sentiment, telling the trade, “The dialogue between the two worlds is so valuable. I’ve been in the business of talking, and now I’m listening.”

Seacrest continued, “There are a lot of synergies between the two communities. The two have creative processes, and both are interested in trying new and different things, and bringing ideas to life.”

The synergy is becoming more clear every day.

“We don’t see it as being separate sides anymore — technology on this side, and Hollywood on the other,” Brent Weinstein, head of digital media at UTA, told Variety. “There are very few media companies today that aren’t also tech companies, or rapidly becoming so.”

And there’s a long list of startups to coming out of Los Angeles.

Dreamworks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, notes that their recent $US33 million purchase of tween-focused YouTube channel, AwesomenessTV, was part of the studio’s move to incorporate more online media.

“We think YouTube — as both a platform for user-generated content and a platform for shortform content — has tremendous opportunity going forward,” said Katzenberg.

Even new Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, is on board.

“So much of the content produced in Hollywood is now being consumed online, and that’s only going to increase,” he told Variety. “We have to be aggressive and perceptive about a changing marketplace.”

As the trade notes, “The merger of the two worlds has the potential to re-create film distribution, enhance moviegoing experiences, bring content to consumers in new ways on multiple screens, change the way we discover music, and reshape the way we experience the Internet altogether.”

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