just another celeb site
from the streets of Hollywood
From the guy who put the ! in entertainment
By Jeremy Schlosberg
Does the world need
another entertainment web site?
Alan Mruvka thinks
Mruvka, founder of E! Entertainment Television in 1987
and now CEO of Filmtown Entertainment, yesterday announced the launch of
CelebStreet.com, a new entertainment portal that officially debuts
CelebStreet.com will go
live in full-blown L.A. fashion. Actress Pamela Anderson Lee will flip a
switch at the Internet World trade show at 2 p.m. PDT Wednesday to put the site
Only five months in the making, CelebStreet.com will
feature both original video and text content.
There will be seven basic content sections:
movies, music, television, fashion, auctions and celebrities. There will
also be a section devoted to webcams that will show visitors the views
from live online cameras at parties, premieres, movie and TV studios and other
Among the companies that
have signed strategic- partner relationships with CelebStreet are TV Guide
and Global Fulfillment.
The site will
depend upon both advertising and e-commerce for revenue. There will be
standard banners and sponsorships available, says Mruvka, and
CelebStreet.com will also sell 15-second commercial spots in conjunction
with the streaming content.
The main reason
Mruvka believes the world needs another entertainment web site is because
he doesn’t think the web really has any yet.
fact is the internet stinks right now," he says. "Sure there are
entertainment sites out there—there’s Hollywood.com, E! Online, Mr.
Showbiz, all of which are not very entertaining. I think the trick to
having an entertainment site is you have to be entertaining."
Mruvka doesn’t think
he needed to be first in as long as he does it well.
"In a broad stroke
we’re lumped into the ‘entertainment site’ category," he says.
"But there’s only one person who’s done it before and that’s
me. I’m the only guy who’s started a successful entertainment
other entertainment sites are basically cut and paste UPI articles. People
don’t need to go to CelebStreet.com to read a UPI article. CelebStreet
is set up as a TV network, and more as magazine than a newspaper.
"Just to have a
news article on entertainment isn’t going to motivate someone to log
onto CelebStreet," he says.
He says that CelebStreet,
like a magazine, will have a strong voice that will be evident across all
its features. He identifies the voice as "fun and irreverent."
And the reason
CelebStreet.com is like a TV network, he says, is that it has been created
to be watched if the user wants to. Thought by many to be one of the
internet’s strong suits, interactivity to Mruvka is somewhat overrated.
"One of the
things I don’t like about the internet is that the sites are passive and
the user has to be proactive. So I’ve tried to create a proactive site.
A user can if he wants be passive. If you want you can go cook dinner and
an "Entertainment Tonight"-like program will be on."
Among the people signed
on to host CelebStreet programs are ex-MTVers Julie Brown and Ricky
CelebStreet will also be
a repository of movie trailers and music videos. There will be 7,000 of
each of these for viewers to choose to watch.
Auctions will be
another specialty. CelebStreet has a deal with a major Hollywood auction
house and expects to offer items above and beyond standard memorabilia.
Mruvka says the site will auction seven genuine Marilyn
Monroe dresses, the hat Vivian Leigh wore in "Gone With the
Wind" and Will Smith’s jumpsuit from "Independence Day,"
among other things.
And of course
e-commerce will be a big part of the site. CelebStreet will offer 1.8
million DVD, VHS, CD, videogame and book titles in six languages. The site
will accept 150 currencies and have distribution outlets in a half-dozen
This is Mruvka’s
first internet project. This he believes is an advantage.
"I come to the
internet with fresh eyes because I’m not an internet guy. I come along
and I look at it and I can see what’s wrong with it. I’m a TV
programmer. So if someone shows me a chunky full-motion video on the
internet I think it looks terrible. I think that’s a real positive for
CelebStreet will lean
towards a youthful look and feel, says Mruvka, but he is not aiming the
site at that narrow a demographic. "Look, people say the movie-going
audience is 18 to 34. But it isn’t really. The audience that loves
movies is 8 to 80. The site is slanted to be young and hip but we’re
really going after a bigger audience than that."
And how does he plan to
drive them to the site on a medium with an almost literally endless supply
of programming alternatives?
"You have to
be creative to get attention," he says. "We have a lot of
co-promotion deals in the works that will get a lot of eyeballs to the
site. You have to be creative and entertaining. I don’t think a
billboard saying CelebStreet.com is going to drive people to the
Mruvka was executive
producer of more than 8,000 hours of TV on E! from its founding in 1987
until he turned control over to HBO in 1990. He also created and executive
produces USA Network’s "Pacific Blue," among other cable
Schlosberg is the senior editor for new media.
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