While online content’s ultimate cross-media hit has yet to be anointed, UTA Online is well poised to represent its creators. As Jason Nadler, 28, the head of the division, puts it: “I’ll tell you what I’m bullish on: In the next year, there’s going to be a Web phenomenon that brings in a rabidly devoted audience.” Citing Internet hits “Dr. Horrible” and “Prom Queen” as test cases, Nadler adds that “something even bigger will put a stamp on this (medium) and will be a model for other shows.”
UTA Online comprises Nadler and three agent colleagues, each with his respective mission: Barrett Garese, 27, works on bridging the divide between the tech/engineering Silicon Valley set and the creative content produced in Los Angeles. Ryan Reber, 28, focuses on emerging comedy acts — an online niche that has shown breakthrough potential — as well as music. Jon Zimelis, 27, who was a TV agent at the Gersh Agency before joining UTAO, signs talent ranging from interactive website designers to traditional TV clients from UTA’s talent pool.
Nadler says the demographic sweet spot for online content now ranges from ages 11 to 27, but will soon skew older.
This is still the industry, of course, so signing on a potentially hot comedy troupe isn’t without its consequences. “It’s incredibly risky,” Nadler says, “because traditional buyers’ tastes don’t necessarily work. You’re kind of toast if you don’t choose right.”