Quibi Bets Big on Mobile Movies

Quibi is a startup entertainment company that has raised $1.4 billion in venture funding to build a new content streaming service designed exclusively for mobile devices.

Founded by Hollywood titan Jeffrey Katzenberg and led by CEO Meg Whitman, a Silicon Valley titan, the company has additional star power because of who they've signed up to provide content.


According to TechCrunch:

"Quibi has attracted big-name talent to help kick off its first year, including Academy Award winners Steven Spielberg, Peter Farrelly and Guillermo del Toro; directors like Antoine Fuqua, Lena Waithe, Sam Raimi and Catherine Hardwicke; and stars like Stephan James, Chrissy Tiegen, Laurence Fishburne, Dave Franco, Bill Murray, Emily Mortimer and Kevin Hart, to name a few."

Quibi, which is short for “quick bites” is going to offer short-form videos of 4 to 10 minutes on everything from movies and TV shows in the form of short chapters to daily news and sports reports.

These bite-sized pieces of content will have Hollywood quality production values, meaning they're expensive to make. According to MarketWatch's article on Quibi:

"Lighthouses,” the service’s premium videos, will cost about $100,000-per-minute to produce, on par with some of the most expensive shows on TV.

The question, of course, is whether or not people want and will pay for high quality, short-form video entertainment on their phone (Quibi is planning on charging $4.99 to $7.99 per month for access to their content).

Key quote from Fortune from Jeffrey Katzenberg on why Quibi will work:

“Everything they’re being offered today is centered around the TV. This is about your in-between time,” he told Fortune. “It’s quick bites, on the go and in between. It’s a very, very different viewing habit that we know our anticipated customers already have.… There is an unbelievable amount of content being consumed today on phones on the go. It’s just not of this quality.”

The shift to mobile computing devices is one of the most powerful technology trends of the past decade.

Whether Quibi is successful or not, it's an excellent example of the continuing impact this shift is having.