According to founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, and the Los Angeles Times, Quibi is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Quibi, which gets its name from the concept of “quick bites” of video, will attempt to air 2 to 2 ½ hour stories in manageable bites. The idea being that if you’re stuck in your Starbucks line you can watch a “chapter” of your story. Whitman says their target audience are people 25 to 35 as they spend about an hour each day watching content on their mobile devices.
While other streaming platforms are set to launch later this year (e.g. Disney+ and Apple TV+), Quibi founders say they feel no pressure from the other corporations as their platform is so different. That’s not to say it won’t be as good. Variety reports that Steven Soderbergh, Catherine Hardwick, Guillermo del Toro, Doug Liman, Sam Raimi, Laurence Fishburne, Anna Kendrick, and Antoine Fuqua have all signed on to collaborate in Quibi productions. Chrissy Teigen has also been tapped to star in her own court show, this via The Verge. Additionally, The Hollywood Reporter notes that Steven Spielberg is currently working on a project titled “Spielberg After Dark” that is only supposed to be viewed during the night time hours.
The start-up streaming platform isn’t set to launch for another ten months, a projected April 6, 2020 in North America with an eventual worldwide rollout. In the streaming platform’s immediate rollout, the site wants to offer at least eight “super-premium” movies, in bite-sized chunks. Then they plan to put out 26 signature programs or movies, like what Orange Is The New Black is for Netflix or The Handmaid’s Tale is for Hulu.
For those on a budget, there is some good news, the first two weeks are free! And the company does realize they’re putting out smaller amounts of content, which is why their subscription plan will cost you a smaller amount of money. A regular plan will be $4.99 while an ad-free plan will be $7.99. And even the ads are supposed to tell a story, think about a 60 second ad broken up into 10 seconds over six small episodes.
The artists are also getting a pretty good deal. It’s estimated that $6 million goes into each hour of content. Katzenberg says they pay the full cost of the show, plus an additional twenty percent, and whatever loose ends need to be taken care of. Even better for impatient viewers and antsy artists, after seven years the rights to the production revert back to the original creator and can be re-edited as a movie meant to be watched in a single sitting. The best news for viewers, all the content can be viewed in either portrait or landscape mode.