What is Quibi? A look inside the ambitious mobile-friendly platform

BRAZIL - 2019/07/17: In this photo illustration the Quibi logo is seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BRAZIL - 2019/07/17: In this photo illustration the Quibi logo is seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Quibi, which is a clever mash-up of the words “quick” and ”bites,” is a subscription-based streaming platform consisting of only short-form content looking to change the game when it comes to mobile storytelling.

While Disney + and Netflix offer consumers the option of viewing programming on an assortment of options such as a TV, phone, or tablet, Quibi has decided to take a different route. The platform will feature both unscripted and scripted content from some of the biggest names in Hollywood, running roughly between 7 and 10 minutes per episode or chapters as they prefer, but it will all only be available from your cell phone.

The challenging project was founded by former Disney CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg with former Hewlett-Packard head honcho Meg Whitman serve as Quibi’s CEO. According to its creator, Quibi is for 18 to 44 year olds and heavily targeting the 25 to 35-year-old millennial. This game-changing endeavor plans to have a healthy mix of both scripted and unscripted content.

Subscribers of the new mobile-based service will choose from two different plans. They can go with the $5/month choice with ads or the $8/month ad-free option. Videos will be available with either plan in three different categories.

  • The first tier will have their scripted narratives from all genres, including comedies and dramas. These compelling stories will be distributed in short chapters rounding out to around two to two and a half hour seasons, playing out almost like a film.
  • The second area focuses on unscripted material. This section will primarily feature reality TV, cooking shows, and documentaries.
  • The final option has Quibi hoping consumers will choose it as their daily news source with such programs as evening and morning shows from NBC News and the BBC.

Filling out the rest of these tiers will be some of the industry’s biggest names. Among the list of those pledging their talents to the Quibi name are the likes of Idris Elba, Guillermo del Toro, Kevin Hart, Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Lopez, and Tyra Banks. Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom, NBCUniversal, MGM, Entertainment One, Lionsgate, and Warner Media are also providing content.

Along with all the new exclusive content that will be available, Quibi will be offering some rebooted classics as well. New takes of Punk’d Singled Out, How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days, The Fugitive, and Varsity Blues are all set to fill the short form platform’s library. With this massive backing and a long list of releases, Quibi plans to have 7,000 pieces of bite-sized content available within its first year.

For those wondering what sets this apart from YouTube or Snapchat, Quibi offers some very innovative advantages for their content creators, and claims interactivity is a big part of the company’s plans. To sum it up, the platform claims it will completely reinvent mobile-based storytelling.

Some famous examples of Quibi’s unique, snackable offerings include Spielberg’s After Dark, from Steven Spielberg himself that will only be available to viewers at night. The Stranger from The Killing showrunner will be played out in 12 10-minute chapters following the main character over a 12-hour period of time.

In a nutshell, Quibi offers a quick fix approach for viewers with a large amount of innovative, high-caliber content readily available at the same convenience as Spotify, making a solid case for shelling out the few dollars needed to sign up. It also throws down a bold claim for being the new king of time wasters. That’s right, YouTube and Facebook beware because Quibi wants a shot at the title and it looks like a champ in the making given everything it has in store when it finally kicks off.

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Quibi’s official launch, which Katzenberg promises will be a pop-culture spectacle, is April 26, 2020.