Hollywood Exec Has Grand Plan to Reinvent TV

Jeffrey Katzenberg, former chairman of Walt Disney Studios and co-founder of DreamWorks Animation, has a grand scheme to reinvent TV for mobile viewers.

Katzenberg, who founded WndrCo after selling DreamWorks to Comcast last year, is seeking an unheard-of $2 billion for a television start-up called New TV that would create and deliver premium short-form content for mobile devices, according to a recent report in The New York Times.

Instead of 30- or 60-minute episodes loaded with commercials, content would likely be much shorter — think 10 minutes — and subscription-based with some advertising.

“We’ve all grown up with this idea that content is king,” Katzenberg told The Times. “And I realized, it actually isn’t. Content is the king maker, it’s not the king. The king is the platform. HBO is the king. Netflix is the king. Spotify is the king.”

While some Hollywood insiders have embraced the concept, skeptics note that traditional television still accounts for most video viewing among people over 18 years in the U.S., which is far behind other countries in video mobile viewing, the report said.

Ultimately, the question is: How many people would be willing to pay for premium content — whatever that turns out to be — that’s produced and packaged for the small screen?

How much would you be willing to pay?

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