Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg

NewTV, the mobile video startup from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, has attracted $1B in seed financial from investors including Sony, MGM, Viacom and Madrone Capital, which is led by Walmart chairman Greg Penner. The venture, which is scheduled to launch by the end of 2019, will consist of short-form programming tailored to be viewed on smartphones. According to Katzenberg, there will be a two-tiered subscription structure: a plan that will carry no advertising plus what is being referred to as an “advertising-light” option. The focus on smartphone viewing, Katzenberg says, means that NewTV will not be a competitor with such services as Hulu, Netflix or the broadcast networks. “It’s a completely different use case,” he told Variety. The service is projected to feature both scripted and nonscripted shows in a number of genres, but it will not include live TV. The company will not produce its own shows, instead relying on licensed programming. 

Bob Iger
Bob Iger

The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger says that its new streaming service, slated for next year, will likely be positioned as a lower-cost option to Netflix. One reason for that is what Iger says is the smaller amount of content the service will have in relation to the streaming giant. “They’re in the high-volume game,” Iger said, “but we don’t really need to do that.” In addition to titles from Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel, the Disney service will include ESPN+, the sports network’s streaming service that was launched in April, and Hulu, which Disney now controls following its recent acquisition of a significant portion of Fox. It will also generate such original programming as a live-action Star Wars series and new Marvel content. Iger says that the company feels little need to rush to acquire more content, since “the only place people will be able to get Disney-Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel product will be here.”

Snapchat

Snapchat lost two million daily users in the second quarter, the company says, the first quarterly drop it has reported. Analysts had expected a gain of nearly two million users. The drop is being interpreted as a possible sign of slowing growth for social media. A portion of the blame is being placed on a poorly received redesign in February, which had been intended to lead users toward watching more videos on the site. Snapchat has also been impacted by the growing prominence of Instagram Stories, which reports that it has 300 million daily active users. Despite the user shortfall, Snap’s revenues maintained their upward trend. With average revenue per user increasing to $1.40 from $1.05 a year ago, Snap brought in $262 million, topping the average estimate of $250.43 million. And the fact that Snapchat has more users than Instagram in the 12-to-24 demographic may be a sign of future growth.