DreamWorks Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg Met With Apple About His Mobile-Focused TV Network

Former DreamWorks Animation CEO and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg is working on a new mobile-focused TV service, tentatively named New TV, and has met with Apple executives to discuss a possible investment, reports Variety and CNBC.

Katzenberg was in attendance at this year's Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, along with dozens of other tech and media moguls, including Apple CEO Tim Cook. According to Variety, he was aiming to coax one of several tech companies into a $2B investment in his new project. Katzenberg was seen meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Eddy Cue at the event, and CNBC says he has previously held meetings with Apple, Google, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Snapchat, and Spotify.

Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Sun Valley event last week. Image via Rob Latour, Shutterstock

Given the sheer number of investors Katzenberg is courting, it's not yet clear who he will partner with nor if Apple is interested, but New TV is a unique proposal. Katzenberg wants to create a short-form video series that's produced with primetime TV budgets to target 18 to 34-year-olds.
For example, imagine a drama akin to "Empire" or "Scandal" but shrunk to 10-minute episodes made for mobile consumption. Or a five-minute talk show, or a two-minute newscast -- all with high-profile talent attached.
In addition to seeking a distribution partner, Katzenberg is also pursuing potential content partners, with CBS and Disney CEO Bob Iger considering producing shows for the service. "The explosion of short-form video is obvious to all of us, but a lot of what we've seen is the production of amateurs -- user-generated content," Iger told Variety.

Katzenberg's goal is not to shrink longer-form media into a shorter format, but to create "new and different" programming that's native to mobile devices. No episode will last longer than 10 minutes, and there will be no ad breaks, with monetization coming via title sponsorships and brand integrations.

New TV will be shaped by whichever partner joins the project, says Katzenberg. It could work as a subscription service offered by a single video provider for a monthly fee, or it could be entirely free and integrated into an existing brand.

Apple has been aggressively pursuing original content in recent months, but in a more traditional format with standard episode lengths. Planet of the Apps, the company's first original show, launched in June, and its second show, Carpool Karaoke: The Series is set to be released on August 8.


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Apple CEO Tim Cook and iTunes Chief Eddy Cue Attend Sun Valley Media Retreat

Apple CEO Tim Cook and iTunes Chief Eddy Cue this week attended the Allen & Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, as they have done for the last several years.

Many well known tech and media moguls attend the Sun Valley event, which is essentially a retreat and is invitation only, but meetings and discussions at the conference are kept under wraps so it's unlikely we'll hear details on anything that goes on. In years past, Cook and Cue have kept a low profile during the week long event.

Described as a "summer camp for billionaires," the conference includes activities like rafting, cycling, and golf, and because it brings so many major media executives together in one place, it's been credited as the catalyst for major deals like the AOL and Time Warner merger, Walt Disney's acquisition of ABC, Google's purchase of YouTube, and Jeff Bezos' acquisition of The Washington Post.

Apple has been taking a more direct approach to media in recent months with its ever-growing interest in original content, so it's no surprise to see Cook and Cue at the event once again.

Other notable 2017 attendees include Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Jared and Ivanka Trump, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, Twitter COO Anthony Noto, 21st Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch, CBS Chairman Les Moonves, and Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg.

Image via Rob Latour, Shutterstock


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Charitybuzz Auctions Another Lunch With Eddy Cue at Apple’s New Headquarters

Charitybuzz today launched an auction in which the winning bidder will have lunch with Apple's services chief Eddy Cue at the company's newly constructed Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California.


The auction has an estimated value of $50,000. Bids can be placed between now and Tuesday, July 25 at 12:01 p.m. Pacific Time, in support of non-profit organization Autism Movement Therapy, based in Van Nuys, California.

Autism Movement Therapy works to provide expressive movement therapy and workplace readiness skills resulting in meaningful, dignified employment for individuals with autism and related disorders, according to Charitybuzz.
Here's your chance to have lunch with Eddy Cue at the stunning new 175-acre Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, CA, where you will learn more about Apple's industry-leading content stores and online services. This is a rare opportunity to see "Apple Park" and engage in a one-on-one, in-depth conversation with one of the most innovative business minds of our generation.
Cue offered a similar luncheon auction just a few weeks ago, raising $255,000 in support of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation non-profit organization in Kansas City, Missouri.

The private meet and greet will be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon date between August 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. The winning bidder must be at least 18 or older. The cost of the meal and gratuity is included, but travel and accommodations are not. The experience cannot be resold, re-auctioned, or transferred.

The lunch does not include a formal tour inside Apple Park facilities, and photography is not permitted, according to Charitybuzz.

Cue, who is officially Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, currently oversees the iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Siri, Apple Maps, iCloud, and Apple's iWork and iLife suites of productivity apps.

Apple executives have participated in several Charitybuzz auctions over the years, with CEO Tim Cook most recently raising over $680,000 for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.


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Charitybuzz Auctions Lunch With Eddy Cue at Apple’s New Headquarters

Charitybuzz today launched an auction in which the winning bidder will have lunch with Apple's services chief Eddy Cue at the company's newly constructed Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California.

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Here's your chance to have lunch with Eddy Cue at the stunning new 175-acre Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, CA, where you will learn more about Apple's industry-leading content stores and online services. This is a rare opportunity to see “Apple Park” and engage in a one-on-one, in-depth conversation with one of the most innovative business minds of our generation.
The auction has an estimated value of $50,000. Bids can be placed between now and June 28 at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time, in support of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to bring attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today's student-athletes. Cue is a longtime basketball and Golden State Warriors fan.

The private meet and greet will be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon date by June 30, 2018. The winning bidder must be at least 18 or older. The cost of the meal and gratuity is included, but travel and accommodations are not. The experience cannot be resold, re-auctioned, or transferred.

The lunch does not include a formal tour inside Apple Park facilities, and photography is not permitted, according to Charitybuzz.

Cue, who is officially Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, currently oversees the iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Siri, Apple Maps, iCloud, and Apple's iWork and iLife suites of productivity apps.

Apple executives have participated in several Charitybuzz auctions over the years, with CEO Tim Cook most recently raising over $680,000 for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.


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Eddy Cue Previews ‘Planet of the Apps’ at Code Conference: Non-Linear Viewing, Weekly Release, First Trailer and More

Eddy Cue, Apple's SVP of Internet Services, spoke at Code Conference tonight alongside Planet of the Apps producer Ben Silverman to preview the show and debut the first trailer from the program. Cue and Silverman also teased several unique aspects of the show, including a dedicated app that allows you to watch the show in a non-linear format.


The format of the show is similar to that of fellow talent-based reality shows The Voice and Shark Tank. Aspiring app developers descend down an escalator while pitching four judges on their idea. By the time they get to the bottom, the judges must swipe left or right to demonstrate whether they're interested. If multiple judges swipe right on a contestant, the contestant gets to choose who they want to pair with. Once paired, the developer goes through an incubator period, getting advise from developers at big companies like Uber, until it's ready enough to pitch to Lightspeed Venture Partners for funding.

Silverman and Cue say that the show will debut a new episode every week starting in the Spring, rather than dumping the entire season on a single date, as Netflix tends to do. The show will also have a dedicated app that'll allow viewers to watch the show in a non-linear format. Within the app, people will have the opportunity to pause the linear version of the show to access unused footage of specific developers.

Apple wasn't the first choice for the show, according to Silverman. The project was initially shopped around to the big networks. The show drew major interest, but Will.I.Am brought up the show to Jimmy Iovine while at a meeting with Apple in Los Angeles. Apple was interested, and Silverman and the rest of the producers slowed down the process with the networks to give Apple a chance at securing it for Apple Music.

When asked why a TV show about apps is debuting on Apple Music, Cue says that he believes video could a differentiator for the service. "We think we have an opportunity to do something unique with Apple Music and shows," Cue said. "The things we're doing aren't being done by anyone else. If we wanted to do something everyone else was doing, we might be better off buying something or whatever." He later clarified that shows on Apple Music don't have to be about music, similar to how MTV programming isn't always about music.


Cue says Apple is just starting out with original content, but that it wants to do more. When asked whether it could see itself becoming Netflix, Cue said Apple wants to see where it can go with its own strategy. Cue later emphasized that Apple doesn't just want to buy shows, denying that Apple was ever interested in purchasing The Grand Tour. Instead, Apple only wants to make shows that are unique and "create culture."

Silverman says that Apple's influence is the only reason he thinks Planet of the Apps could work, pointing out that developers and stars, like judges Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow, might not have signed onto the show if Apple had not been producing the show.

Planet of the Apps will not have ads. Cue says he's unsure if future Apple productions will have ads, but that he doesn't know of many people who actually watch ads when they're watching programming. Cue says a lot of people either watch shows on streaming services or purchase or rent them from places like iTunes, bypassing the ads of regular TV.

Cue also talked about the future of TV. When asked what the big roadblock for Apple was when it was planning its rumored TV service, Cue said discoverability and the complexity of the TV industry. Cue said the TV app is one way to help customers find the content they want to watch without jumping into various services. Cue also says industries are reticent to change, and that people in the industry aren't yet moving in the same direction, making it difficult for Apple to put what it wants to do together. However, Cue says Apple is not interested in pursuing a skinny bundle. In 2015, the CEOs of Time Warner and CBS said Apple was working on a "forward-thinking" streaming service.


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