There are plenty of streaming services out there. Likewise, consumers have endless options for ultra-brief social media entertainment. A new startup by the name of Quibi finds itself somewhere in the middle.
The platform touts itself as a streaming service but will entertain subscribers with short, ten-minute shows instead of full-length episodes. As of now, no one has actually seen the app in action. Yet, it has the support of Hollywood superstars, upcoming influencers, and a brilliant CEO at its helm. Of course, the fact that it has raised $1.75 billion without even launching is a positive sign as well.
Taking a Risk
Despite the fact that it has a huge financial backing, there are a lot of people out there who have never heard of Quibi. Even those who have might not know exactly what the forthcoming platform is all about.
To put it simply, Quibi is a new kind of streaming service. It will host a variety of highly produced series that consist of episodes that are all ten minutes or less. These are designed to be watched in the waiting room, on the subway, or during a quick lunch break—perfect for today’s entertainment consumer.
However, don’t confuse Quibi with YouTube. Rather than going for quantity, it will curate high-quality content from well-known producers with actors and influencers that many people recognize.
For instance, Quibi recently teased a high-octane series titled “Most Dangerous Game” with Liam Hemsworth, a thriller called “Survive” with Sophie Turner (all hail The Queen in the North), and a stunt show featuring Idris Elba. Other celebrities involved include Zac Efron, Kristen Bell, Chrissy Teigen, Kendall Jenner, Tyra Banks, Steph Curry, 50 Cent, and the Russo Brothers.
With these big names involved, things are bound to get pricey. Estimates suggest that some of Quibi’s series could have production costs north of $125,000 per minute. Fortunately, its enormous $1.75 billion worth of investments will help it get off the ground. That haul was recently complemented by $750 million in new funding from an undisclosed investor.
If Anyone Can…
Despite its seemingly impressive momentum, Quibi faces a huge challenge in the days ahead. The streaming world has never been more competitive. Titans like Netflix and Disney+ have engrossed consumers with long, binge-able series. By contrast, Quibi encourages people to adopt its “quick bites” format.
It will launch for just $4.99 a month (with ads), a few bucks cheaper than traditional streaming services. That could be helpful to attract new subscribers.
Although the road ahead isn’t smooth, Quibi’s huge amount of funding makes it clear that investors believe in the platform’s innovative approach. Part of that is likely thanks to its founder Jeffery Katzenberg.
He brings a tremendous resume to the table, including helping to turn around Disney’s animation department in the late 1980s and co-founding Dreamworks. Many believe that Katzenberg’s passionate attitude and genius creative mind will help power Quibi to success.
Whether or not he will be able to separate consumers with their cash with 10-minute entertainment will be a very interesting development to watch as it unfolds. Although Quibi might not be able to directly compete with Netflix or YouTube, it could certainly carve out a place for itself in the streaming world.
Quibi will launch on April 6 on both the Google Play Store and the App Store.