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Disruptors: Jeffrey Katzenberg – Interview (On Quibi, Netflix & The Future Of Entertainment)

I recently sat down with entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg whose latest venture is mobile-first, millennial-focused video subscription service Quibi. Much is written about Quibi and its bold, brash $1+ billion experiment that takes Hollywood talent, production and budgets to the mobile screen for the first time. And Katzenberg certainly faces skeptics (I recently wrote a piece for Forbes titled The Case For And Against Katzenberg’s Quibi). Katzenberg himself has publicly stated that Quibi’s success “falls somewhere between the improbable and impossible.” So, why would Katzenberg go “there” and stake his reputation on his latest and perhaps most audacious big bet?

Short answer, Katzenberg is a fearless media-tech disruptor who can’t slow down. And it’s that kind of fearlessness that drives any kind of entrepreneurial disruption and innovation forward (and the entertainment business is no exception). He may succeed with Quibi. He may not. But know this. All major studios have signed on for the ride. All invested big in Quibi, because they know that if Katzenberg can’t succeed with his game-changing mobile-first vision for premium Hollywood quality entertainment, then probably no one can.

In this first of two parts to my interview, Katzenberg talks about Quibi and its skeptics. He also discusses Netflix, its business model, and how it compares to Quibi’s. In part two, which will be posted next Saturday, November 23rd, Katzenberg gets more personal. What motivates him. Whom he admires. And why he always “swings for the fences.” (Note: I have made some very minor edits to our QA for the sake of clarity.)


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