From the United States comes a new video streaming service that wants to rout the competition with TV series designed for smartphones
It will arrive in April 2020 in the United States and it's a huge bet, daughter of the meeting between a Hollywood big and a Silicon Valley big. It's called Quibi (from "quick bites"), it's a new streaming platform and it will stream very short content only on mobile devices.
Quibi's business model, as CEO Meg Whitman explains, is to "offer the quality of HBO with the convenience of Spotify." The content will be top-notch, given the names involved, but very short: episodes of about 10 minutes each. As the name implies, small bites. Meg Whitman says that, compared to the various YouTube, Facebook Watch, Instagram TV and Snapchat its Quibi will be a "premium" service. And, therefore, it will be paid: $5 a month if the user accepts short commercials, $8 without advertising. However, if we talk about premium content, Quibi's real competitors will be Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. And, at least on paper, it will be difficult to beat them.
Who's behind Quibi
There are two "heavy" names behind Quibi: Meg Whitman, who is the CEO, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who founded it.
Katzenberg was the one who relaunched Disney between 1984 and 1994: to him we owe masterpieces such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. In 1994 he leaves Disney and founds together with Steven Spielberg the DreamWorks Animation, with which he produces other masterpieces such as Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda. In 2016 he sold DreamWorks Animation to Comcast and grossed $3.8 billion. Meg Whitman, on the other hand, comes from Silicon Valley: she was CEO of eBay and Hewlett Packard.
With these two gentlemen behind it, Quibi has already raised more than $1 billion in funding from Disney, WarnerMedia and other American film majors. Dozens of Hollywood filmmakers and star actors have already submitted a project to Quibi, getting the okay for production.
Quibi: a huge challenge
At launch in April 2020, Quibi will offer its users content that is different from other streaming platforms and exclusive. Despite the huge funding it has already received, Quibi will not have an easy time for at least two reasons: it is up against established giants and is focused on a format (short episodes of just ten minutes) that users apparently do not like. The various Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ offer at similar prices, if not lower, much more substantial content that, moreover, can also be viewed on non-mobile devices.