ISSUE DATE: Mar. 27, 2000
ALSO APPEARED: Oct. 6, 1986
You can trace the revolution back to the best-watched awfullest movie of all times (excluding Runaway Bride), The Blair Witch Project (shot for $60,000 on videotape), which was marketed to blockbuster effect from a lowly website last year.
The Movement … got a significant boost last week, when Stephen King premiered his most recent story, Riding the Bullet, exclusively on the Net, causing a near meltdown of the computers that served it up to more than 500,000 people the first day. His experiment proved a point: the middleman is endangered. If you’re unknown, you can avoid the middleman by using the Net to get discovered and attain stardom. And if you’re already a star, you can avoid the middleman by using the Net to keep most of the money yourself. “It’s like putting a nickel into the world’s biggest slot machine, isn’t it?” said King. It’s a long-shot bet, and the profits are still mainly in the hands of the big media companies. But the entertainment space is attracting lots of gamblers.
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