Linda Hannan is celebrating the millennium early by launching the Internet Transmission Network betting that in the 21st century the future of television is on the Internet.
"Why can't we just create our own channels? So what we said was, 'Let's do that over the Internet because the cost is minuscule,'" says Hannan.
At Mondo Media, there's a room full of artists racing to grab a piece of the future. They're making programs not for the movies or TV but for the Internet.
"We make entertainment, and we looked at the Internet and said that that's obviously a way to get a piece of content in front of a global audience instantly," says John Evershed of Mondo Media.
So already on the Internet, Skeeter Dubois can be seen around the world as an animated teen-ager with attitude hosting his own interview show, Like, News.
"The point is to get the character out and have everybody see him and love him. And then they'll want to see more," says Andy Murdock, creator of Internet programming.
Murdock is hoping his creation, Rocketpants, will become one of the first Internet stars of the 21st century. Just a couple of years ago that would have been an impossible dream.
There was a time that maybe Walt Disney and a couple of other folks had control over what characters were created. "But now it could be just any old fella out there with a computer and some spare time," Murdock says.
By providing an alternative to movie studios and TV networks, the Internet of the 21st century will move beyond email and e-commerce to perhaps the biggest "e" of all: entertainment.
As a temple of live entertainment, San Francisco's Fillmore auditorium is as legendary as the bands that have played here. But now Apple computer is using The Fillmore to demonstrate live entertainment online.
"There's no charge. They just dial up, click on a button and get to watch it - free of charge," says Frank Casanova of Apple Computer.
The technology can't compete with television yet but the Internet of the 21st century will do what TV does and more, says Casanova.
"You'll be able to experience it, you'll be able to hear it, and the latest technology is that you'll be able to smell it," he says.
"The future is going to be very, very cool," Casanova adds.
At Green Witch radio, a handful of people and a few computers are putting 24 channels of uninterrupted music on the Internet. Endless variety may be the future of radio in the 21st century
"The whole idea of Internet radio is that it's wide open, and you can share all this music that normally people are not hearing on traditional commercial broadcast radio," says Pam Long of Green Witch radio.
At Green Witch radio, as at Mondo Media, the Internet is seen as a vast new stage, a place opening unlimited new opportunities to entertain.
So on the Internet of the future, as never before, artists of all kinds will be able to show off their creativity to the widest possible audience. For good or bad, in the 21st century the Internet will be able to catapult anyone to fame.
An indignant Skeeter declares: "I'm the future, TV boy."
For Like News, go to www.mondomedia.com, for Green Witch Internet radio, go to www.greenwitch.com, and for more on The Fillmore, go to www.thefillmore.com.
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