The producer of "Mean Streets" looks to the Internet for fresh inspiration

After a successful career in the music and film industries, Jonathan Taplin is CEO of the movies-on-demand website Intertainer (

You managed Bob Dylan and The Band, produced Mean Streets, and helped engineer a buyout of Viacom in 1987. So why did you decide to head a ”broadband entertainment network”?

By the time I finished To Die For (1995), I felt it was harder and harder to get the kind of movies I loved made. Everything was so dependent upon signing one of the 18 stars on the studio ”greenlight” list. All the power in the media business had been built from scarcity—i.e., you controlled one of the three broadcast networks, six film distributors, six cable companies—and broadband Internet turned the whole equation on its head: i.e., no gatekeepers. So the idea of trying to build a service that would use broadband as the ultimate on-demand conduit didn’t seem so wacky. Five years later I still believe that people ”want what they want when they want it” and I think we’re now beginning to realize that vision.