Katzenberg, chairman of NewTV, pitched it as something that would “access the best talent and intellectual property for this next era in entertainment.”
The aim of the new service is to reach smartphone and tablet-centered audiences looking for more quality content.
“We’ll give consumers a user-friendly platform, built for mobile, that delivers the best stories, created by the world’s top talent, allowing users to make the most of every moment of their day,” said Whitman, who will act as NewTV chief executive.
The video startup is being financed under Katzenberg’s WndrCo, and the $1 billion only begins the first round of funding.
Katzenberg estimates $2 billion is needed for the project, but said he’s confident NewTV will launch by late 2019.
“Once Meg came on board, we actually built out a bottoms-up business plan,” Katzenberg said. “The billion-dollar number is more than enough capital to get us to launch and then a comfortable beyond.”
Madrone Capital, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Liberty Global are also contributing to the project.
NewTV’s investment comes months after Verizon’s go90 mobile streaming service shut down after it failed to find a sufficient audience.