Jeffrey Katzenberg is making a big bet with OPM (other people’s money) in a reported video startup designed for mobile devices. He’s looking for $2B and he’ll probably get it. Driving the idea are 500M people who watch 45 minutes of video on their phones daily. This I don’t doubt. Nor do I doubt that people want more HBO-like quality to watch, rather than silly time-kill dreck. But Mr. Katzenberg’s business idea is founded a 10 minute high quality video segment. This is where the rubber doesn’t meet the road.
People who sit down (not stand up) to watch Game of Thrones want to settle in to the experience, not watch it on the line waiting for a chalupa. Any dramatic video consummated in 10 minutes (probably including 1 minute of ads) feels to me like foreplay interruptus. There’s a reason short stories are a fraction of book sales.
Mr. Katzenberg may be on to something though. Ten minutes snippets of video are not a bad idea. But the idea is not chunking up HBO or Sundance Channel programming. Perhaps he should be looking at news-related, educational or comedic interludes. Hey not a bad name!.
He’s a little off-piste but ideas have to start somewhere.