Watch out, Netflix – and Hulu, and Amazon Prime, and Disney+, and AppleTV…there’s a new player in town: Quibi. The new streaming platform is set to launch in 2020, with some of entertainment’s biggest names attached, like Steven Spielberg and Chrissy Teigen. Plus, Quibi plans on shaking up the streaming game: the service will only be available on mobile.
Quibi is the latest streaming platform that’s getting Hollywood creators excited. How is it different from what’s out there so far? Well, Quibi stands for “quick bites,” meaning its content is “bite-sized,” short, and watchable on-the-go. Movies, television series episodes, and the rest of the content will be short, around ten minutes or less.
Furthermore, the Quibi app will only be available on smartphones! Quibi also plans on shaking up the way we view content: they’ll create both horizontal and vertical format video. Meaning, the company will produce certain films and series meant to be displayed vertically, the way we typically hold smartphones.
At first glance, it seems this is an ill-fitting format to Hollywood: what creator would want to limit their art to ten minutes? However, a whole bunch of iconic directors love the idea! They understand that times have changed, and many people desire shorter forms of entertainment. Quibi might be an incredible bridge to gap between millennials and older Hollywood creators, as well as a reinvention of traditional media. Shorter lengths and vertical format filming can also bring new challenges and cinematography inventions to old-school directors and film creators.
How Much Will It Cost?
So who’s behind Quibi? The company’s founder is none other Jeffrey Katzenberg, former chairman of Walt Disney Studios and co-founder of Dreamworks Animation. In late 2018, he raised over a billion dollars to launch this app. Afterward, he appointed Meg Whitman as CEO of Quibi. Whitman, another former Disney and DreamWorks executive, has a long resume that includes running tech megacorporation Hewlett Packard Enterprise
The app’s launch date is April 6, 2020. At launch, it will have lower prices than Netflix, between $4.99 to $7.99 Quibi can charge less because it casts a much wider net including those who think the other streaming services have become too expensive. Meanwhile, those who don’t have the time to sit down and watch a full tv show will love Quibi’s incredibly short content. And, of course, those who just love watching media will have another streaming platform to add to their growing list.
Who’s Signed On With Quibi?
Some of the biggest names in Hollywood are joining Quibi. Famed director Steven Spielberg will create a horror show that will only stream at midnight, when it’s nice and dark. Meanwhile, Hollywood giant Guillermo del Toro, who won the Oscars’ Best Picture with Shape of Water in 2017, will also produce horror shows alongside Sam Raimi. A drama series called Freerayshawn will star Stephan James and Laurence Fishburne. The app will even dabble in reality shows, with a reboot of Punk’d and a Chrissy Teigen-led real-life courtroom show. And that’s just the beginning! Veena Sud (The Killing), Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks), and others also signed on to create content.
Quibi told advertisers it hopes to have 20 million subscribers within five years, spending “$496.5 million on programming ahead of its launch, $600 million in the first year, and as much as $978 million in the fifth.” Whitman said, “We are doing something that hasn’t been done before. And while all start-ups have a certain amount of uncertainty, I worry about what Jeffrey is responsible for, which is the content, and he worries about what I’m responsible for, which is everything else. We feel pretty good about our relative areas.” Still, investors don’t seem too worried, and neither do advertisers. Quibi just hit $100 million in ad sales, almost ten months before launch.
Only time will tell how will Quibi do alongside its strong competitors, but it certainly has the content lineup to do so!