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Jeffrey Katzenberg, the cofounder of DreamWorks Animation and former chairman of Disney Studios, is looking to build the “new TV” in bite-size pieces that draw inspiration from pop authors like James Patterson and are designed to be watched on a smartphone.
Earlier this year, filings submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Katzenberg had raised nearly $600 million for a new venture, called WndrCo, that would sit somewhere at the intersection of tech and entertainment. And on Thursday at the Cannes Lions festival, Katzenberg outlined a bit of what he was trying to do with WndrCo.
Katzenberg pointed to authors like Dan Brown and Patterson, whom he called “genius” for pioneering a new way people consumed the novel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He said he wanted to do a similar thing with TV.
What will that look like?
Katzenberg said he was looking to make ad-supported shows featuring short, chapter-like episodes of about six to 10 minutes. These would have the production quality of “premium” shows, he said, according to THR, giving examples of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” which costs about $200,000 a minute, and HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which costs $300,000 a minute.
These shows will be designed to be viewed on smartphones, whose ubiquity is a big reason Katzenberg thinks there’s a market for this type of show in the first place.
“We have these devices with us the entire day and an incredible amount of in-between time,” he said. WndrCo will seek to fill those six- to 10-minute bits of downtime.
Katzenberg didn’t say whether these shows would be part of a separate platform or be licensed to existing streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.