The next year will be a pivotal one for the streaming-video world.
Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal will all be launching new streaming services, while existing players like Netflix and Hulu attempt to fend them off.
The increasingly crowded field makes it a particular challenge to be an independent competitor. One of those independents, however, is betting that it has a solution: cash.
Quibi (short for “quick bites’) is the upcoming ad-supported subscription streaming video service from Jeffrey Katzenberg. It has raised $1 billion in funding, including investments from many media companies that expect Quibi to buy programming from them.
Now, according to The Information, Katzenberg and Quibi CEO Meg Whitman are seeking to raise another $1 billion ahead of its launch next year.
A $2 billion war chest may pale in comparison to what Netflix, Disney and the other tech and media giants are spending, but it may be enough to launch a compelling product.
Still, little is known about Quibi. The company has hired top-tier executives, including the former president of Comedy Central, and the former executive producer of “CBS This Morning.” It has also signed development deals with well-known writers and talent.
The goal is to provide premium TV quality content, viewable in short bursts, primarily on mobile devices. It is a bet on the future of mobile video, just as many other streaming competitors are turning their attention to the TV glass.
The service is expected to cost $5 with ads and $8 without ads. Quibi will be ad-supported, but no word on its advertising model. Reports suggest Quibi is seeking major ad commitments, worth
millions of dollars, but it's unclear if any marketers have signed on.