Quibi ads

We’re less than a month away from the launch of Quibi, the new mobile-only streaming service that is looking to become a major player in the streaming wars. But those wars are expensive, so we’re here to break down what to expect from Quibi’s advertising strategy during the company’s first year: who will be advertising, for how long, when the ads will appear, whether you can skip them, and more.

Before we get into this, it’s important to remember that there are two tiers of Quibi for consumers: an ad-supported subscription that costs $4.99 a month, and an ad-free option that costs $7.99 per month. Now is also a good time to remind you that Quibi is offering a 90-day free trial, but you have to sign up for it before the service launches in April. Get those details here.

According to a new report from Axios (via The Verge), Quibi will have unskippable pre-roll ads before every one of its shows and movies (again, only for those who opt to pay for the ad-supported tier). The company has already sold $150 million worth of advertisements for its first year, and capped its ad partnerships at ten companies: Progressive, Discover, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, AB InBev, Taco Bell, Pepsi, T-Mobile, Google and Walmart. When the service launches, users will see ads “from over 25 brands that are owned by those 10 ad partners, including Lays, Doritos, Tide, Cheerios, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Charmin, Budweiser Light and Old El Paso.” The ad partners are not limited to only featuring advertising from those initial brands – Google, for example, could introduce ads for YouTube in front of Quibi content if it chooses.

Those advertisers will run pre-roll ads which will either be 6, 10, or 15 seconds long, with no mid-roll ads interrupting programming. Quibi is recommending that advertisers program shorter ads for content that lasts between 1-5 minutes and longer ads for content that ranges from 5-7 minutes. Overall, Quibi will run 2.5 minutes of ads for every hour of programming. So if you don’t pay for the ad-free tier and you watch a full hour of Quibi content in a row – let’s say twelve five-minute chunks of a show – you’ll be served twelve unskippable ads, which could last anywhere from 6-15 seconds. (Quibi’s “recommendations” about the length of ads paired with certain lengths of projects seems like a suggestion at best, so don’t count on that being enforced.)

While there won’t be any political ads during Quibi’s first year (thank God), the ad partners will be utilizing the company’s “Turnstyle” technology, which lets you seamlessly move between horizontal and vertical modes while watching on your phone. I laughed out loud when I read the following sentence in the Axios article: “‘We love this new format and look forward to continuing to tell our story in Turnstyle,’ says Rob Reinerman, brand director at Charmin.” Can’t wait to turn my phone vertically while watching a toilet paper ad!

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