How "Mr. Social" is pioneering a new kind of media business-and having a whole lot of fun in the process
New York, November 24, 2009 - If there was ever an unlikely media titan, it would be Ashton Kutcher, until recently best known for his eight seasons on That 70s Show, for cringe-worthy celebrity pranks on Punk'd, and - oh, yeah - being married to Demi Moore. Fast Company senior writer Ellen McGirt shines a light on Kutcher's transformation from Hollywood pretty boy to social-media-business visionary. "Mr. Social: Want a Piece of This?" appears in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of Fast Company, available online at fastcompany.com November 24 and on newsstands December 1.
Kutcher insists his future will be all about business: He is staking a claim as the next social-media mogul, using his own brand as a springboard. Kutcher, who famously has 3.9 million followers on Twitter and nearly 3.3 million Facebook fans, has already attracted corporate clients including Nestlé, Pepsi, and Kellogg. "Kutcher's production company wants to become...a go-to source for brands looking to deploy what's called 'influencer marketing,'" writes McGirt, "a squishy hybrid of entertainment content, advertising, and online conversation that finds its audience via video, animation, Twitter, blogs, texts, and mobile."
"We're a balanced social-media studio, with revenue streams from multiple sources," Kutcher tells McGirt. "For the brand stuff, we're not replacing ad agencies but working with everyone to provide content and the monetization strategies to succeed on the Web." Kutcher continues: "Entertainment, really, is a dying industry. If we in this industry don't figure something out, we're going to go the way of the music industry and be cannibalized by the Web. It's really a war to make money."
For more of this story and others from the December 2009/January 2010 issue of Fast Company, go to fastcompany.com.
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