The service will cost $4.99 a month with advertising and $7.99 without, and the service will feature three distinct sections of programming:
This is a fascinating experiment, and since Quibi already has at least $1 billion in backing and the support of every major studio, it appears that once it debuts next year, it won’t be disappearing any time soon.
First of all, this service sounds really cool. It feels like the right time for a serialized show in bite-sized episodes. Maybe in the end, it’s only exacerbating some of the issues with our short attention span society. But maybe playing into that isn’t so bad…?
The Quick Bites are the least appealing to me, solely based on the stunt driver show example in the story. But there’s potential. I could see these being super well produced YouTube videos a la Vox or even Casey Neistat, which would be great supplements to the service.
Daily Essentials sound great. As a news junkie who takes the drug in all forms, from newspapers, and magazines to podcasts, newsleters, and apps, I’ve yet to find a video source on par with the other formats1. It’s a hard problem to solve so there’s no guarantee Quibi will succeed with this style either.
Lastly, Lighthouses are going to be what bring the subscribers in. Big name creators, making serialized shows in bite-sized episodes. Nick Hornby, author and screenwriter, recently wrote a show for Sundance TV that fits into this mold, ten 10 minute episodes. I haven’t seen it to give a judgement on it, but it would’ve been a perfect fit for this service had it been around. Instead, I assume it was awkwardly slotted into the Sundance schedule. There’s a lot of potential here, to build its own niche. If successful, I wonder how the other streaming competitors would react. Slotting these kind of short shows into their existing apps would feel awkward because of the differences in length. When you want something quick, you don’t necessarily want to weed through Netflix’s entire library. But who knows.
The big selling point for creators is they get to re-edit their shows and turn them into features two years after they go up on Quibi. This gives an added revenue source and additional flexibility so they don’t have to sell their soul to a single streaming service. Creators such as “Steven Spielberg, Antoine Fuqua, Sam Raimi, Steven Soderbergh, and Guillermo del Toro” are already on board but the service won’t launch until April 2020, which seems like a lot of time for existing and new (Apple, Disney) players to gameplan for it, and get a foothold to potentially compete in short form, as well.
have to admit, I haven’t looked very hard though.↩