Speaking at the Produced By conference in Los Angeles, Katzenberg and Whitman described what the new service, short for “quick-bites”, will offer to users following its initial announcement last August.
Katzenberg explained that the service will launch on the 6th April 2020 with two tiers of membership – one at $4.99 per month with pre-roll ads before videos. According to Variety, the ad segments will differ depending on video length: for a video less than five minutes long there will be a 10-second ad; for videos between five and 10 minutes, there will be a 15-second ad. For an ad-free experience, the service will cost $7.99 a month.
Last October, the founders announced that they had raised $1 billion from investors, including Disney, Fox, NBC Universal and Alibaba, for a platform which aimed at doubling down on mobile viewership. Speaking at the time, Katzenberg – formerly chairman of Disney Studios – explained that the business was aiming at the gap in Netflix and Hulu’s viewership and the video content consumed on mobile.
“Literally less than 10% of Netflix’s viewing, less than 10% of Hulu’s viewing is actually mobile. It’s not optimized for it either,” he said. “If we are right, and if it is successful, others will follow.”
A core underlying principle for Quibi is that every instalment of its content will be divided into intervals of less than ten minutes.
“We will publish, every week, over a hundred pieces of original content,” Katzenberg said in comments reported by WARC. “So, we have to make 5,300 [or] 5,400 pieces of content in a 12-month period of time. It’s a pretty Herculean undertaking.”
More recently, the company has talked about bringing in high-end movie directors including Guillermo del Toro and Sam Raimi to work on series that total between two and four hours in length, all divided into episodes of 10 minutes or fewer. Within the first year, Whitman said, the platform expects to have around 7,000 pieces of content available.
The founders also went into detail about data and how that will inform the programming strategy. “Until day one, every decision that we make around content will be driven by instinct,” Katzenberg said. “Minutes after we launch, everything will be driven by data.”
Quibi will pay up to $6 million per hour of programming. For one project currently underway, directed by Antoine Fuqua, the total two-and-a-half-hour production has a budget of $15 million.
There will be two versions of every production: the segmented Quibi version will belong exclusively to the platform for a term of seven years; the creator of the project will also exit a full-length, non-segmented version, which will be available for them to sell with no segmentation globally after two years.
Sourced from Variety, CNBC, WARC