What Is Quibi

What the hell is Quibi? You’ve probably heard a lot about this upcoming mobile streaming service because everyone and their mother seems to be getting a show on it. But with all the streaming services out there, what makes Quibi special? Well, it’s intended to be a mobile-only content provider that delivers high-quality bite-sized programming with episodes of shows running roughly 10 minutes or less. If that’s not a good enough explanation, the first Quibi Super Bowl spot might help. Watch it below.

Quibi Super Bowl Spot

First of all, I’m not sure that marketing your streaming service as something bank robbers will enjoy is the best approach, but I’m not Marty the Marketer over here. But it does get the point across of what Quibi is trying to do in an efficient manner, even if it’s done in a rather contrived fashion.

According to Variety, Quibi essentially hopes to become the HBO of mobile entertainment. Even though younger audiences with their face buried in their phone already have endless things they can watch across YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and the recent popularity of TikTok, Quibi hopes to create premium content to watch on-the-go by spending “up to $100,000 per minute, or $6 million per hour, on production budgets for its top-tier originals.”

Quibi will have 50 original shows at launch with the hopes of increasing that number to as many as 175 shows (with a total of 8,500 episodes) within their first year. We’re not sure how quickly they’ll be churning out episodic content, or whether it’ll be daily or weekly releases of 10-minute episodes, but Quibi is certainly being ambitious about all this. But what kind of content are we talking about here?

Programming will cover a wide variety of entertainment options across various genres, formats and styles. They will consist of movies broken into “chapters,” unscripted short-form series, and what are being called Daily Essentials, which is news, sports, weather and talk shows.

Weirdly enough, Quibi’s contracts allow their content creators to reassemble these bite-sized episodes into longer form programming for distribution elsewhere after being available for two years on Quibi. That’s probably pretty enticing to content creators since they will own the intellectual property created for the service, and they can “reclaim rights to the content after it’s licensed to Quibi for seven years.”

We’ve covered some of the programming that Quibi has in the works for over a year now. Filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Paul Feig and Anthony & Joe Russo have original Quibi projects in the works, and there are shows like a reboot of Legends of the Hidden Temple, a remake of The Fugitive with Kiefer Sutherland, a new version of the prank show Punk’d with Chance the Rapper (teased in the commercial above) and even a seventh season of the Comedy Central series Reno 911. And that’s just the tip of this mobile iceberg. So how much will access to this content cost you?

When Quibi launches, there will be two subscription tiers. The first is an ad-supported subscription that will run $4.99 a month. But if you want to go with the second ad-free option, it’ll cost you $7.99. You can already pre-order the Quibi streaming service right now before it launches on Monday, April 6.

For now, I’m not sure this short-form programming option sounds like how I want to experience storytelling. But as attention spans become shorter for younger audiences, Quibi might have an audience ready to consume programming in a seemingly more efficient manner that allows them to watch in small chunks throughout the day as opposed to binge watching for hours in front of a television. That’s not to say that Quibi audiences won’t still sit in front of their phone for a good binge-watching session, but with so much happening on our mobile devices, will Quibi be enough to keep our attention?

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