Jeffrey Katzenberg wants “to touch you in the most direct way imaginable”

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Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO, Dreamworks, speaks at #CannesLions

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Jeffrey Katzenberg wants “to touch you in the most direct way imaginable”

  1. 1. “totouchyouin themostdirectway imaginable” Jeffrey Katzenberg wants It sounds creepier than it is, but not by much. We should all pray that Vice buys Dreamworks first.
  2. 2. Jeffrey Katzenberg wants “to touch you in the most direct way imaginable” Wednesday morning’s kick-off session was a good ‘un. Dreamworks CEO Jeff Katzenberg talked about his energetic pursuit of the audience “wherever they may be” and his desire to touch them (I won’t repeat the rest of the quote.) He reeled off a litany of channels, sub channels, shows, partnerships and content that his empire has either recently launched or are just about to, mostly aimed at the younger demographics which simply “don’t watch regular television anymore” because they are glued to their phones. His channels are using YouTube as a recruiting platform, discovering talent (and their audiences) and bringing the most suitable or popular into the fold. 1
  3. 3. Jeffrey Katzenberg wants “to touch you in the most direct way imaginable” The zero sum game doesn’t live here anymore.The idea that the audience for screened content is a finite thing has proven to be false. Dreamworks has discovered that as channels and platforms have multiplied so too have the audiences and the opportunities for revenue. Netflix is the number one channel for kids in the US at the moment, followed by YouTube. They haven’t necessarily stolen share from traditional sources. Instead, people are just consuming more. That may be good news for advertisers and brands, provided they can deliver things the audience wants. Katzenberg cited Jeff Gordon’s material for Pepsi as a good example of where it should be heading. 2
  4. 4. Jeffrey Katzenberg wants “to touch you in the most direct way imaginable” All hail the new mediakingsAs interesting as Katzenberg was, he became the support act the moment Eddy Moretti, Chief Creative of Vice walked on stage. It was a significant moment, underscored by Katzenberg’s intense interest in the Vice/Time-Warner deal that’s rumored to be in the works. (“We’re, ah, not supposed to talk about that right now” was as far as Moretti would go on the subject.) Katzenberg hoped that Moretti would “find a nice little spot in the Vice empire for Dreamworks to sit when you buy us too.”Everyone laughed, but not everybody did so in disbelief. Remember, Vice is a 20 year-old media startup with a widely-reported $1.4 billon valuation. 3
  5. 5. Jeffrey Katzenberg wants “to touch you in the most direct way imaginable” Give the kids thekeysIn a similar fashion to Dreamworks and YouTube, Vice’s MO is to hire their fans as content creators, as evidenced by their latest news channel which has half a million subscribers 3 months after launch. Moretti claimed that he brought the channel out of beta early “because Ukraine happened” and described their news style as “hardly revolutionary - just good quality documentary news coverage, but delivered in a peer-to-peer fashion, by people who are from our audience. Not by someone with a toupee.” 4
  6. 6. Jeffrey Katzenberg wants “to touch you in the most direct way imaginable” Don’tworryabout thetechnology(but make sure someone does) Katzenberg and Moretti displayed a similar attitude to technology: as creative people at heart, they make a point of not getting platform fever (Moretti’s terminology), but they acknowledge that their organizations need to be up to speed. Both agree the rate of technological change is accelerating at an accelerating rate, which Katzenberg described as “filled with opportunities” and Moretti declared to be “kind of exhausting.” 5
  7. 7. Jeffrey Katzenberg wants “to touch you in the most direct way imaginable” 6 BonusRant!Jacob Soboroff (host of YouTube nation) proved to be a slick moderator, as you’d kind of expect from a TV guy. The festival organizers would do well to hand more of the moderating duties to people experienced in this line of work. Some of the most disappointing sessions have been the direct result of sponsors and fanboys handling the interviewer duties themselves.
  8. 8. Jeffrey Katzenberg wants “to touch you in the most direct way imaginable” “Iknowwhatwedo reallywell-Ijusttry andkeepusfocused ondoingthat.”Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO, DreamWorks

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