If there's a way to make money from a 6-second loop of poking an old man in his dignified European man boobs, by george, startups will find it. Jerome Jarre, the Jerry Lewis of Vine, judging by his repertoire, has partnered with multimedia wino and angel investor Gary Vaynerchuk to launch a talent agency for (gulps) "Vine Stars."
"I’d seen this rodeo before," Vaynerchuk tells Fast Company. "I started a YouTube show in 2006, so I lived that phenomena. I lived what happened on Twitter for the first year and a half, before quote, unquote, 'real celebrities' were on it. It’s just so obvious to me that this is going to happen."
There's an entire strata of middlemen who help YouTube unknowns monetize their 15 minutes. Grape Story, which has yet to announce its roster, is looking for a very particular kind of talent, Vaynerchuk tells Fast Company:
"This takes a very specific skill. So we’re going to be looking for people who aren’t famous for anything else other than they artistically figured out how to storytell in six seconds.”
Another crucial criteria? The willingness to shape that narrow skill in the service of brands. Grape Story clients will skip the pre-roll ads and instead exhibit "a level of creative freedom while crafting contracted videos" that incorporate "specific" messages for clients like Virgin Mobile.