Quibi Chief Meg Whitman Talks Mobile Content, 5G, eSports

Founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and headed by chief executive Meg Whitman, Quibi (“quick bites”) is a subscription service for short mobile videos set to launch in about a year. Quibi will deliver daily news and longer features, with production budgets higher than the typical YouTube video content. The app will also feature a control for adjusting screen brightness; videos are shot and edited for portrait and landscape modes. Every major Hollywood studio has invested in a $1 billion seed funding round. Continue reading Quibi Chief Meg Whitman Talks Mobile Content, 5G, eSports

Mobile Video Service ‘Quibi’ Is Scheduled to Launch in 2019

At Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman revealed that the name of their new mobile video startup will be Quibi (short for “quick bites”). The subscription service, originally known as NewTV, is scheduled to launch next year. Producer Jason Blum and filmmakers including Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro and Antoine Fuqua are among those slated to create content for the new venture. “These people are so excited about doing something new. They want to be the pioneers. They want to be able to show the path in doing this,” said Katzenberg. “We are going to do be able to do extraordinary storytelling.” Continue reading Mobile Video Service ‘Quibi’ Is Scheduled to Launch in 2019

NewTV Plans to Bring Hollywood’s A-Game to Mobile Video

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman formed NewTV to offer short original programming designed for smartphones. They believe they’re creating the next-generation HBO or Netflix, and many big players in Hollywood are betting they’re right. Katzenberg said that the holding company he co-founded, WndrCo, closed a $1 billion seed-funding round on July 31. Other backers include Disney, 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom, AT&T’s WarnerMedia, Lionsgate, MGM, ITV and Entertainment One. Continue reading NewTV Plans to Bring Hollywood’s A-Game to Mobile Video

Katzenberg Envisions Next Wave of Entertainment for Mobile

Jeffrey Katzenberg, who left DreamWorks Animation last summer, is launching WndrCo, a new media and tech venture that has already raised nearly $600 million. During a Q&A in New York with Hearst Magazines president David Carey, Katzenberg said he is interested in the next wave of television, which he sees as a mobile experience. He cited the roughly $200,000 per minute that Netflix spends on content and the less than $100 a minute needed to produce most YouTube content, suggesting there’s an opportunity that falls between the two approaches. “He said a few companies have been successful at producing mobile-oriented original video for a few thousand dollars per minute — citing Vice Media, BuzzFeed and AwesomenessTV,” reports Variety. Continue reading Katzenberg Envisions Next Wave of Entertainment for Mobile

Comcast to Purchase DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 Billion

The rumors are true. Comcast announced yesterday that it would acquire DreamWorks Animation SKG in a deal valued at $3.8 billion. The move reflects a significant change in entertainment media as companies seek new ways to address the impact of evolving trends such as streaming video and cord-cutting. Since animation performs well in foreign markets and helps drive consumer product sales, DreamWorks could serve as a vital resource for NBCUniversal. The animation studio could also become a launch pad for the Universal theme parks unit, which is currently planning a new park in Beijing. Continue reading Comcast to Purchase DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 Billion

Toymaker Hasbro in Talks to Purchase DreamWorks Animation

Rhode Island-based Hasbro, manufacturer of popular toys including G.I. Joe, Mr. Potato Head, My Little Pony and Transformers, is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation. Hasbro would pay a mix of cash and stock according to current terms of the proposed deal. DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is said to be looking for more than $30 a share for the sale. The news comes shortly after Japanese telecom SoftBank was reported to be a prospective buyer. Continue reading Toymaker Hasbro in Talks to Purchase DreamWorks Animation

VidCon 2014: Industry Leaders See Strong Future in YouTube

To kick-off VidCon yesterday, industry leaders discussed the strong foundation that YouTube is currently building for the future of entertainment. DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg discussed the acquisition of multichannel network AwesomenessTV in addition to the YouTube Nation venture. Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kreiz unveiled upgrades to the Maker Gen platform for creators. And Fullscreen’s George Strompolos announced a $10 million investment toward original programming. Continue reading VidCon 2014: Industry Leaders See Strong Future in YouTube

DreamWorks and AwesomenessTV Launch YouTube Channel

DreamWorks Animation, which acquired the YouTube content company AwesomenessTV last year, is bringing original programming featuring Shrek, Puss in Boots, and others to a new YouTube channel known as DreamWorksTV. Each day, the channel will release three videos of animated or live action content. The new shows include vlogs from Shrek, a reality TV show “Record Setter Kids,” an animated Web series “Jimmy Blue Shorts,” and animated comedy “Gorillaville.” Continue reading DreamWorks and AwesomenessTV Launch YouTube Channel

Revolutionizing Wait Time: DreamWorks and Intel Partner on Rendering

  • Animators at DreamWorks have to work in low resolution — “as if blind” — because rendering takes a week for 3 seconds worth of animation.
  • “CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said his company’s four-year partnership with Intel is developing scalable multicore processing methods and software that will change all that,” reports Forbes.
  • Katzenberg explains the partnership is dedicating tens of millions of dollars in an effort to reengineer animation software “in a way that will halve the number of steps in the production line and ramp up animators’ productivity between 50 and 70 times.”
  • The technology will also be widely applicable in areas that use high-end rendering, including medicine, oil, aircraft design and more.
  • “This literally is going to revolutionize waiting,” suggests Katzenberg.

New Industry Report to be Released: Suggests 3D Format Safe for Kids

  • The American Optometric Association, the Consumer Electronics Association and the 3D@Home Consortium will issue a report entitled “3D in the Classroom: See Well, Learn Well” that will promote 3D in the classroom. The report, endorsed by James Cameron and Jeffrey Katzenberg, also makes the case for 3D eye exams.
  • The AOA has been taking issue with a position by some companies to recommend that 3D not be used for children younger than 6 years of age.
  • In response to Nintendo on the 3DS, for example, they responded, “Since vision develops from birth, it is crucial to uncover the type of vision disorders that may interfere with Nintendo 3D viewing at an early age. Accordingly, children younger than 6 can use the 3DS in 3D mode if their visual system is developing normally.”
  • They also dispute the recommendation against prolonged 3D viewing, as there is no medical evidence to support this.
  • “While professionals like Technicolor’s 3D guru Pete Routhier note that poorly made 3D can cause eye strain, headaches or nausea, the AOA report notes that discomfort caused by stereoscopy is not innate to the format,” reports Variety. “In fact, pain associated with 3D can often be an indicator of a problem with the health of the viewer’s eyes.”