After making it good on their own, the current dream of almost every content creator on the planet is to score a contract with Netflix to produce an original series. Well soon, Netflix won’t be the only game in town, as evidenced at this year’s CES show here in Vegas where we live.
There’s a new kid, a well-financed one, who’s moving into the neighborhood… and the neighbors are talking.
Tomorrow, January 8, Meg Whitman, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, and long-time Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, will give a keynote address at CES 2020. They’re spilling the beans on Quibi, a new mobile streaming service that will debut on April 6 this year, with Whitman as its CEO. The duo will be speaking at the Park Theater at the Park MGM Hotel at 9:30 a.m.
Quibi stands for “quick bites”. Unlike the shows on Netflix and other streaming services, Quibi will specialize in short, 10-minute shows (episodes) by some of the top names in the entertainment business. Their format is much more like YouTube than Netflix.
The monthly price for consumers will be five bucks (or $8/month for an ad-free version). It’s reported that Quibi has already booked more than 7,000 episodes for year one.
Quibi, though, is really not coming out of nowhere. The company has approximately one billion dollars in backing from the likes of Sony, Disney, WarnerMedia, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Viacom, MGM, ITV, Entertainment One, and NBCUniversal – and expects to spend that on new original short-form content during 2020.
10 minutes, as many know, is the length necessary for YouTube to monetize a video. With the attention span of Americans declining, Quibi is betting their short format will be popular with Millennials and Baby Boomers alike. Here at Changing Vegas, we’re keeping an eye on this venture to see where it takes Quibi – and where it could take us.
Photo Credit: Michael Buckner, Variety/Shutters
[UPDATE: Quibi launched pretty much right when the Coronavirus hit the U.S. It folded soon after. We are convinced that if Quibi had featured video series from new independent content creators they would have succeeded. ]