Quibi, the brainchild of Jeffery Katzenberg, is a new way to capitalize on accessibility and original content, and it just launched today. We are now fully in the midst of the streaming wars.
However, If you were to ask Katzenberg he’d probably say he’s not in the war, he’s forging a new frontier.
“We don’t think we’re in the streaming wars,” Katzenberg told The Verge. “They’re all battling for this,” he says as he thrusts his arm toward a TV in the room. “We’re going for this,” he says, gesturing toward his phone. “Don’t tell them!”
In the last two years, Quibi has raised around $2 billion to make original content.
Tubefilter spoke with Quibi CEO Meg Whitman and CFO Ambereen Toubassy of Quibi. Whitman said, “We found significant interest from long-term investors in the financial, distribution, and content arenas who were excited to participate in this round.” Toubassy added that the additional funding “gives us tremendous flexibility and the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”
Not many people know about Quibi or how it works yet, even though some high profile directors like Steven Spielberg, Peter Farrelly and Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, Lena Waithe, Sam Raimi, and Catherine Hardwicke have signed on for projects.
So, what is Quibi, and what is all the fuss about?
Quibi, short for Quick Bites, is a mobile app that will host all sorts of original short-form movies and shows — documentaries, comedies, scripted series, news programs, you name it. Think streaming service, except everything you watch is 10 minutes or less in length and only available on your phone.
So How Much Does Quibi Cost?
Quibi (some ads): $4.99/mo.
Quibi (no ads): $7.99/mo.
Those are low prices, but with cord cutters and cord nevers already paying for multiple streaming services, will anyone pay still pay for Quibi?
Katenberg hopes so, but he’s realistic about it. In speaking with The Verge, Katzenberg broke down the challenges, “We’re competing against free…We have to offer something that is meaningfully, measurably, quantifiably, creatively different.”
So, what do you need in order to take on the YouTubes of the world?
Katenberg continued, “They don’t know how to do what we do, with all due respect.
Other than Star Power, What Else Is New?
By far one of the most unique things about Quibi, and how it may excite filmmakers, is the use of the built in gyroscope of your device which they are calling turnstyle. Imagine if you could tell a different version of the story based on how the viewer was holding their device.
One story told in landscape, and a different view told vertically.
You can see the full slate of Quibi shows currently available, and give it a free test drive for 90 days now at https://quibi.com/
How do you think this will change the filmmaking landscape? Comment below and let us know!