Digital entertainment valuations are returning to pre-2000 levels, investment professionals said today (Nov. 4) at the Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference & Awards, held at the University o

Digital entertainment valuations are returning to pre-2000 levels, investment professionals said today (Nov. 4) at the Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference & Awards, held at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In an afternoon session moderated by Billboard's San Francisco bureau chief Scott Banerjee, venture capitalists from the likes of Intel and Cisco told attendees that deals like Yahoo's recent acquisition of MusicMatch signal a larger rebound in digital entertainment as an investment concept.

"In the last 12-14 months you've seen a pick up in valuations," said Daniel Scheinman, senior VP of corporate development at Cisco Systems.

Though investment money is flowing into a host of digital entertainment opportunities -- ranging from music to video-on-demand to home networking - the biggest winner in the gross and investment appetite is the gaming industry, executives agreed.

Investment pros are torn over whether a rebound in digital entertainment valuations signals the start of a new bubble.

BearingPoint managing director Shahid Kahn argued that values are "hyped up," while others like Roth Capital Partners managing director David Enzer see the market as more rational. "It's a healthy ecosystem," he said.

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