DreamWorks founder Katzenberg’s search for a $2B investment for a new short-form TV network

Founder and former CEO of DreamWorks animation, Jeffrey Katzenberg, is looking for a $2B investment in his new mobile-focused TV service.  Reports by Variety and CNBC suggest Katzenberg met with Apple executives to discuss his possibly ground-breaking new idea.

Katzenberg’s hunt for a $2B investment

Since selling DreamWorks for $3.8B to Comcast’s NBCUniversal last August, Katzenberg has focused all his efforts on leading the way for a new era for TV.  Although Apple is likely to be his primary target for the investment, Katzenberg was seen meeting with powerful representatives from Google, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Snapchat and Spotify.

Katzenberg’s new idea, which he hopes to be bigger than DreamWorks, is aimed at 18-34 year olds and involves short-form video series with the budgets and production of primetime TV.  Katzenberg explains the idea that could be called New TV:

“For example, imagine a drama akin to “Empire” or “Scandal” but shrunk to 10-minute episodes made for mobile consumption. Or a five-minute talk show, or a two-minute newscast — all with high-profile talent attached.”

A media revolution

He wants to change the way media on mobile devices works entirely.  This means he will not shrink longer-form media to work on a mobile device, but instead hope to create an entirely new type of programme that is native to mobile devices.  Episodes, therefore, could be a maximum of 10 minutes, with no ad breaks as monetization will come from title sponsorship and brand integrations.  The episodes are likely to feature high-profile talent.

Episodes, therefore, could be a maximum of 10 minutes, with no ad breaks as monetization will come from title sponsorships and brand integrations.  The episodes are likely to feature high-profile talent.  Equally, however, it is possible that there is a free model with adverts and or a paid version with no adverts.

Possible content partners

While on the search for the crucial $2B investment, Katzenberg is also determined to find the best possible content partners.  CBS and Disney CEO Bob Iger is thought to be showing interest in the idea.

Katzenberg has suggested that the content partners will help shape the project.  Depending on partners, users could buy monthly subscription service offers by a single video provider, or it could be completely free.

Will short form-media content take off?

Apple is certainly trying to create original content in a more traditional format.  They have recently released new show Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke: The Series is to be released on August 8.  These are both standard episode length, however.  Will they show interest in this new form of media?

Could Katzenberg’s idea entirely change the media ecosystem as we know it?

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