That means money has been flowing to start-up ventures that investors hope will become the next Facebook, Twitter or Zynga. On Thursday, Dallas technology company Youtoo (not related to YouTube) announced that Mark Burnett, the television producer behind "Survivor" and "Celebrity Apprentice," has made an undisclosed equity investment in the venture, which launched in September 2011.
Youtoo makes interactive TV and games for the television industry. Last year it launched its social network, Youtoo.com, and Youtoo TV, a cable channel available in about 15 million homes. Users can record 15-second videos of themselves on Youtoo.com and submit them to run on the television channel.
Chris Wyatt, chief executive of Youtoo, said Burnett hopes to incorporate Youtoo's interactive features into some of his TV productions. Youtoo plans to license its technology to TV networks and producers so they can augment their shows with interactive elements. The additional platform is designed to serve as a vehicle for advertising.
Burnett has been getting increasingly interested in the digital entertainment space. He also invested in Vimby -- short for Video in My Backyard -- a network of producers who create original short form video for the Web, segments for television and sponsored programming for major advertisers.
"In the next few months, you are going to see an entire pipeline of producers who will be using our technology," Youtoo's Wyatt predicted.
-- Meg James
Photos: Top: Producer Mark Burnett, center, is flanked by Vimby CEO Dean Waters and Vimby Chief Creative Officer David Goffin at Sony Studios in Culver City in 2011. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
Lower right: Youtoo CEO Chris Wyatt. Credit: Youtoo