×

Jeffrey Katzenberg, Meg Whitman Unveil Subscription for Short-Form Video Service

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s much-scrutinized streaming-video project is months away from launch, but the executives already know how much the new content would cost subscribers.

NewTV, incubated by Katzenberg and held by his WndrCo, will seek to charge subscribers $5 per month for content with ads and $8 per month for an ad-free experience on the new service, Whitman said during a presentation at a conference Tuesday organized by AT&T, whose WarnerMedia is an investor in the company.

The pair said they expected to reveal a formal name for the project in coming weeks. Launch of the new service is expected in late 2019 or “the start of 2020,” Whitman said. The company expects to distribute a premium lineup of original, short-form series comprising episodes of 10 minutes each, sometimes less.

Whitman suggested the company would seek to run advertising that was cinematic in nature and told bigger stories that viewers would choose to see, not have thrown into their feeds.

The executives believe a new generation of content-seekers is ready to embrace short-length programming, while still demanding high quality. NewTV will feature a range of scripted and unscripted shows, including sitcoms, dramas, reality and documentaries; it won’t include any live TV.

“There are multiple ‘in between’ moments over the course of your day,” said Katzenberg, where such programming might be welcome.

WndrCo recently announced that it secured a $1 billion seed-funding round for NewTV. Backers include a who’s who of Hollywood studios: Disney, 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom, Lionsgate, MGM, ITV and Entertainment One. Tech investors include Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group; strategic investors include VC firm Madrone Capital Partners, which led the round, along with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and John Malone’s Liberty Global. The funding officially closed July 31.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Oculus Go Product Shot

    Former Oculus Head of Mobile VR Max Cohen Leaves Facebook

    Early Oculus staffer Max Cohen, who at one point led mobile product for the VR unit, has left Facebook this week, Variety has learned. Cohen’s departure is just the latest staff defection for Facebook’s VR team, which recently also lost its head of VR product, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment. [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Reportedly to Stop Targeting Ads in Videos for Children

    YouTube is finalizing a plan under which it would no longer serve targeted ads in videos that are popular with kids, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources. The move is intended to appease U.S. regulators that have been investigating whether YouTube violated privacy laws that prohibit online services from collecting data on children, according to the [...]

  • Facebook

    Facebook Looking to Hire Journalists for Curated News Section

    Facebook is looking to assemble a small team of journalists to help curate a news tab within its app. The team of 10 media professionals will complement algorithmic curation, and highlight the top stories of the day, according to a New York Times report. “We are building a new surface for news that will give [...]

  • Best Podcasts: 14 Podcasts You Should

    14 Podcasts You Should Be Listening to

    Here are a few of the informative, funny, thrilling and downright addictive podcasts that deserve your listening attention. Read Variety’s cover story, a deep dive into the podcast revolution with Conan O’Brien, right here. CaliphateThe New York Times Rukmini Callimachi’s reporting about the Islamic State is harrowing boots-on-the-ground journalism at its finest. Conan O’Brien Needs [...]

  • Lee-Daniels-headshot

    Lee Daniels Entertainment Announces Diverse Creative Workshop

    Lee Daniels Entertainment and the online entertainment network Represent by OMV have launched a diversity-focused creative workshop to promote a diverse group of new writers. The workshop will be held from Sept. 25-28 in Los Angeles, with travel provided by American Airlines. Industry professionals will mentor aspiring creatives from underrepresented communities with workshops, meetings with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content