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Katzenberg’s Big Ask: $2 Billion for Short-Form Video Project
OCT. 2, 2017 | The New York Times | By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN.

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s idea of fund-raising is on a very different scale.

Mr. Katzenberg....is trying to raise $2 billion for his new television start-up. That is likely to be the largest first round of financing in history for a digital media company that, at least at the moment, is only a concept swirling around in his head......Mr. Katzenberg, 66, is convinced that his new product, called New TV, can upend the format of television for mobile devices. He wants to create the next-generation version of HBO or Netflix, purpose-built for viewing on phones and tablets with short-form content of premium quality — think of “Game of Thrones” as if each episode had a narrative arc of 10 minutes.

He wants to create big, expensive productions at a cost of $100,000 a minute. (For the sake of comparison, a highly produced minute of programming on YouTube might cost $10,000.)......Mr. Katzenberg’s hunch about the way a huge swath of consumers will watch television in the future is, in all likelihood, right. The number of teenagers and young adults who have their nose pressed to their mobile devices watching video content is startling. Globally, 72 % of all video is viewed on a mobile device, according to Ooyala, a video platform provider.

The question is whether his idea is ahead of its time. And whether he can find the right business model to support such expensive programing.

Mr. Katzenberg is a realist. “We need $2 billion. That’s a high bar,” he said. And he acknowledges that the financial details still need to be worked out. It’s daunting. He needs to build an instant library of content — and a big one.....Mr. Katzenberg’s gamble is being taken seriously because of his long history of success and his provocative thesis about the current television model. “The design and the architecture of the storytelling fit the business paradigm, not the other way around,” he explained, suggesting that shows were made in the format of a half-hour or an hour for business reasons and do not make sense in the world of mobile devices and streaming.....Mr. Katzenberg does not merely want to simply create a studio that specializes in short-form storytelling; he wants to create a platform for it. He is hoping that many of the big television networks both invest and produce content for the service.
Quibi  start_ups  funding  investors  Jeffrey_Katzenberg  entertainment_industry  content  digital_media  storytelling  platforms  SaaS  video  Andrew_Sorkin  DreamWorks  short-form  mobile  streaming  bite-sized 
october 2017 by jerryking
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