Katzenberg's NewTV Streaming Service Is Named Quibi

NewTV has a new name. The mobile-first streaming video service, which raised $1 billion in a funding round in August, will go by the name “Quibi” when it launches in 2019.

Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, CEO of the venture, announced the name and the first slate of original programming at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.

Whitman says Quibi is short for “quick bites,” hinting at the length of programming the company will run.

Quibi will have multiple tiers of service, similar to Hulu. There will be an ad-supported entry-level tier, as well as premium tiers at higher price points. Pricing for the service is still to be determined.

The first slate of shows includes projects from four big names in Hollywood. Horror movie giant Jason Blum will be producing a series for Quibi, and director Sam Raimi is also working on a horror project. Director Guillermo Del Toro is also developing a project, while Antoine Fuqua is creating a reboot of “Dog Day Afternoon” and seeking “A-list actors” to play the lead roles.

Janice Min, one of the first hires for Quibi, said on Twitter that “there are MANY female creators on the way” to the service. The company also hired former Comedy Central president Doug Herzog, and former Hulu engineering vice president Rob Post.

Quibi is one of the biggest bets on original content to come from outside a major content company.

While Katzenberg’s company is independent, it counts just about every media company as an investor. Disney, Fox, NBCUniversal, Viacom and WarnerMedia all invested as part of the $1 billion funding round. In turn, Quibi will order original programming from their studios, replicating the traditional TV production model.

Of course, whether such a bold bet to steal millennial eyeballs away from Snap and YouTube can work is a whole other story, especially when Disney and WarnerMedia are poised to roll out streaming services of their own next year.

“We’ve been to the rodeo a whole bunch of times,” Katzenberg said at the summit. “That play, between improbable and impossible, that’s my home address.”

4 comments about "Katzenberg's NewTV Streaming Service Is Named Quibi".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 11, 2018 at 11:54 a.m.

    The average millennial does not spend anything like the amount of time per day "watching" videos on his/her smartphone as they have been claiming so their programs had better be of sensational quality and consistency to stimulate much more frequent usage. Even then, this seems like a very long shot in terms of generating a high volume of viewing as well as capturing huge amounts of ad dollars but I wish Katzenberg and Whitman success. They are trying something very daring---even if its also very chancy.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, October 12, 2018 at 9:58 a.m.

    Ed, someday, somewhere, you will be believed. There are sill only 24 hours in a day and people are getting busier with all kinds of other things. The only way to get time to watch other stuff is to steal audience from other media and you know what that means. But when people are not working with their own money....you know what happens, too.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 12, 2018 at 12:34 p.m.

    Thanks, Paula. It never fails to amaze me how otherwise smart people get so caught up in the hype that they simply wont take a few moments to check the facts and think out the realastic possibilities.

  4. John Grono from GAP Research replied, October 12, 2018 at 8:58 p.m.

    I totally agree Ed & Paula.

    One of my favourite 'overshoots' was when I was co-opted to look at internet measurement in the early 2000's here in Australia.   The metric-du-jour at the time was Monthly Unique Browsers.   Each publisher was pouring over their website analytics and going to market with suspiciously large numbers.

    We had a population of 20m and the big end of town were quoting figures like 12m-14m per month.   Internet penetration was in the 60-70% range at the time.   When you aggregated these data to form a market position it was higher than the population * penetration.   But this was possible (unlikely, but possible) due to usage at work, schools, universities and other public places.

    A few years later when the population was nudging 22m the total market hit 23m.   It was dismissed as a glitch.   Ths issue was primarily driven by cookie deletion, but also by home & work usage not being de-duplicated

    Once the market moved from dial-up modems to fixed connections we were seeing 30+m quite quickly.   Then it got to 60m.   When smartphones and tablets became options it increased further.

    It wasn't until we had 133m of our 23m people on-line each month that it was accepted that tag and cookie measurement was WAYYYYYY worse than a panel (which always under-reports).

    Since then we've made good progress to producing believable data for bot publsihers, agencies and the market.

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