DreamWorks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg wants to bring the 'James Patterson' model to TV -- and he has nearly $600 million to do it

Jeffrey Katzenberg, the cofounder of DreamWorks Animation and former Disney Studios chairman, is looking to build the “new TV” in bite-sized pieces that draw inspiration from pop authors like James Patterson, and are designed to be watched on your smartphone.

Earlier this year, SEC filings revealed that Katzenberg had raised nearly $US600 million for a new venture called WndrCo, which would sit somewhere at the intersection of tech and entertainment. And on Thursday at Cannes Lions, Katzenberg outlined a bit of what he’s trying to do with WndrCo.

Katzenberg pointed to authors like Dan Brown and James Patterson, who he called “genius” for pioneering a new way people consumed the novel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He said he wanted to do a similar thing with TV.

What will that look like?

Katzenberg said he’s looking to make ad-supported shows that have short, chapter-like episodes of around 6- to 10-minutes. These will have the production quality of “premium” shows. The examples he used were streaming shows like Netflix’s “House of Cards,” at around $US200,000 a minute, and HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” at $US300,000 a minute, according to THR.

These shows will be designed to be viewed on your smartphone, whose ubiquity is a big reason why Katzenberg thinks there’s a market for this type of show in the first place.

“We have these devices with us the entire day and an incredible amount of in-between time,” he said. WndrCo will fill those 6- to 10-minute bits of downtime you have.

Katzenberg didn’t say whether these shows will be part of a separate platform, or be licensed to existing streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

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