You probably woke up this morning and thought to yourself, you know what the world needs more of? Streaming services. We understand your plight, given that Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO GO, HBO NOW, Sling TV, Fubo TV, and Crackle aren’t nearly enough. We clearly need another one.
Or, you might be getting so confused at this point with which show is on what service, which service you have, which you don’t, and which you want, that you’ve just gone ahead and cancelled all your streaming services and prefer playing Roulette online instead. We wouldn’t blame you, it’s a great game!
But believe it or not, another new streaming service is now vying for your attention. Quibi aims to be a direct competitor to Netflix. Is Netflix terrified? With 167 million subscribers globally, probably not really.
So what is Quibi, and do you care about it?
Alright, we’ll hand it to Quibi. They have an interesting idea. The big draw card of the new service is that it focuses exclusively on short-form content. Which is to say all of the content offered on Quibi is around 7 – 10 minutes long. Yes, it seems that the creators of the platform are aware of the idea that youngsters these days have extremely low attention spans, and don’t much care for concentrating on things for longer than a few minutes.
More interesting is some of the names behind the platform. American producer Jeffry Katzenberg, best known for founding DreamWorks animation, gave birth to the venture. Former Hewlett-Packard and eBay boss, Meg Whitman, is heading things up as CEO.
But you might be concerned that the company doesn’t have enough cash to get rolling. Rest assured, that isn’t the case. Some of the investors that have put their financial might behind the Quibi name include BBC Studios, Lionsgate, MGM, Warner Bros, NBCUniversal, and Disney.
Okay, maybe Netflix is a little concerned after all…
According to a press release, Quibi aims to tackle every genre of show under the sun. Katzenberg has stated that if a genre exists, there will be some or other offering on Quibi. This includes comedy, drama, documentary, reality television, and even soap operas and talk shows.
But sticking true to the concept, all of it, even if adding up to a run time of hours, will be released in 7 – 10-minute chapters. One of the earliest projects is a full-length film called Most Dangerous game, running a total length of 2 hours. But the content is still organised into multiple, specifically designed chapters. Such projects are being referred to, shrewdly, as ‘films in chapters,’ and will be released in 12 to 14 daily episodes.
But much of the other content will be designed in bite sized chunks, with each 10-minute entry being a complete experience of its own. Katzenberg says that, for the time being, the focus is going to be on what is being called ‘daily essentials.’ These will be 10-minute avalanches of lifestyle and news, condensed into easily digestible segments. The content will come from BBC, NBC News, TMZ, and other sources.
Plans are that in its first year the platform will have 7,000 pieces of content. Though, if these ‘pieces’ are 10 minutes each, Quibi certainly has a long way to go to come close to competing with the roughly 34,739 hours currently available on Netflix.
Additionally, it has also been stressed that all of the shows and content will also have been designed for viewing on a smartphone. What this means, and how it will impact the content, wasn’t exactly specified. But what it does make clear, again, is that the target market is those who spend much of their time with noses pointed at phone screens.
Or to put it another way, the target demographic is obviously the phone obsessed youth.
Now the big question, how much will the service cost? There is a cheaper option of $5 a month, but this means your viewing will be interrupted by advertising. Alternatively, you can pay $8 a month, and cut out the ads.
$5 a month with ads? Maybe Netflix can rest easy after all.