What is Quibi? Everything you need to know about new streaming service


Another new video streaming service called Quibi
looks set to launch next year from the former boss of Walt Disney Studios, focusing on high-quality short-form entertainment backed by Hollywood.

The content is intended for mobile users to fill those “in between moments”, and has already enlisted some big names.

What is Quibi?

Quibi is a new entertainment platform made up of shorter video, which its makers are describing as “quick bite content” aimed at mobile, meaning 10 minutes or less.

“We’re not really short form,” founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has said.

“We are long-form that is going to be told in chapters. And I think that’s the thing that is most innovative about what we’re doing.”

It aims to stand out from similar free offerings by Facebook and Snapchat by going big on budget, with backing from leaders in Hollywood.

Meg Whitman, chief executive, describes it as “easy access to the highest quality entertainment that fits perfectly into their busy, on-the-go lifestyles”.

Guillermo Del Toro
The Shape Of Water director Guillermo Del Toro will produce content for Quibi (Ian West/PA)

Who founded Quibi and who is backing it?

Quibi was founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg, former chairman of Walt Disney Studios and the former chief executive of Dreamworks.

On the tech side, Meg Whitman, who previously led eBay and Hewlett Packard Enterprise serves as chief executive.

The entertainment platform has the backing of major players in Hollywood, including 21st Century Fox, Disney, Entertainment One, Lionsgate, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom and Warner Media.

ITV is also an investor, as well as Chinese tech firm Alibaba.

ITV is one of the investors in Quibi (Ian West/PA)

When will Quibi launch and how much will it cost?

The launch of Quibi is so far limited to the US, where it is expected to land in April 2020.

According to reports in the US, the service will be available in two pricing tiers – one for $4.99  with a short advert before each video, and $7.99 for completely ad-free.

What shows are expected on Quibi?

There will be 7,000 pieces of content available within the first year, Mr Katzenberg recently told reporters in the US.

Household filmmakers including Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua and Jason Blum have been confirmed to be working on projects that will appear on the platform.

Steven Spielberg has also been attached, with a horror series that viewers will only be able to watch at night.

An exclusive docu-series called Benedict Men has been confirmed, which follows high school basketball teams in America at St Benedict’s Prep in Newark, New Jersey.

Meanwhile, You Ain’t Got These is an unscripted series by Emmy Award-winning writer, creator, actor and producer Lena Waithe, exploring the fashion-forward sneaker culture.

A revival of MTV’s Punk’d and Singled Out series are also said to be appearing on the service.

Who will Quibi compete with?

Quibi will not only compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime for a slice of the paid streaming sector, but also free short-form platforms, such as Facebook Watch and Snapchat’s own take on mini series.

Chris Price
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