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Content Site Thethreshold.com Trying to Cross Over

Thethreshold.com (www.thethreshold.com) announced yesterday that Jerry Springer will be doing the voice of "The Blue Jew" in the site's animated Hollywood satire, "The Producer". A satirical representation of real-life Hollywood characters, the show packs in slimy agents and lawyers, scumbag studio executives, neurotic starlets, and would-be-actors.

Thethreshold is a fledgling content site that offers audio, video and animated programming. The company is essentially a network of sites and has purchased Web addresses representing each famous brand it promotes. For instance, a click on the Mortal Kombat icon on the home page will take you to www.mortalkombat.com.

Jerry Springer isn't the only celebrity. He will join Tom Arnold, Stephen Baldwin and former Playboy cover model Rena Mora to add celebrity pull and traditional Hollywood spark to the site's programming. This fits well with thethreshold.com's business strategy, which is focused on brand and celebrity recognition. According to Hanna Schmieder, director of marketing, the value of the entertainment brands on the network of sites is $20 billion, and these brands are helping to pull in more than a million unique visitors per month.

This strategy of brand recognition has allowed thethreshold.com to attract a large user base with minimal advertising - and is what the company, which has been in business since May, hopes will make it profitable by the end of the year. Other forms of revenue include subscription services on some of the sites, and online sales of branded merchandise. For instance, you can buy into the Rena Mora Gold Card Club for only $9.95 a year. Merchandise on the company's heavy metal site is selling extremely well, according to Schmieder.

Another integral part of thethreshold.com's business strategy is to move its content offline. The company retains ownership of all rights to its original content, and produces the shows in its own digital animation studio, normally 13 to 22 episodes at a time - similar to television production cycles. The company is currently in negotiations for the sale of five of its Web shows to television networks, including UPN and Fox.

Thethreshold.com is a subsidiary of Threshold Entertainment, which is no stranger to big-name Hollywood production. Chairman and CEO Larry Kasanoff supervised the production of "Terminator 2" and was the executive producer of "True Lies".

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