WORLD NEWS

Jeffrey Katzenberg raises $1b for new short-form video platform

Published on: 14th August 2018

The company will produce high-quality, bite-size content suitable for mobile devices.

$1b has been raised in the initial investment round, including funds from 10 American media companies and Chinese technology giant Alibaba.

It was announced this week that 10 major studios had signed on as backers: the Walt Disney Company, Entertainment One, 21st Century Fox, ITV, Lionsgate, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom and Warner Media. Investment has also been secured from Alibaba, although China has remained off limits for many media companies, including Netflix.

The $1 billion from investors allows NewTV to begin licensing original programmes, particularly from the media companies that have come aboard. The company will not own the content it streams. Rather than competing with Netflix or HBO, the content will target viewers looking for short-form programming to help them pass the time when they are, for example, travelling or queuing.

Higher production values will distinguish NewTV’s programming from the majority of video shorts that gain traction on sites such as YouTube

“We keep coming up with new ways to exceed the expectation of our customers,” commented Jeffery. “Except now, for the first time in history, we have a whole generation of customers that have a new consumption habit, with this thing called short-form content. And the professional enterprise of storytellers in Hollywood is nowhere near it. Customers are ahead of them for the first time – we’re going to try to chase and catch up with them. They’re doing something and we’re not a part of it; that’s a missed opportunity.”

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