Quibi latest idea about “essential” daily programming? A hopped-up, rapid-fire dispatch about video games and gamer culture.
The mobile subscription-video startup, led by founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, ordered a daily culture and gaming news show from Vox Media’s Polygon. The yet-to-be-titled series will span headlines, trend deep-dives, first-look previews of new game releases and interviews with gamer talent. It’s slated to run Monday-Friday with a runtime of under 7 minutes.
The daily series “will present a caffeinated, hyper-fast injection of the news that the gaming (and gaming adjacent) audience craves,” according to Vox Media. The Polygon show will be part of Quibi’s Daily Essential lineup of short-form news and lifestyle shows. Other partners in the mix include NBC News, BBC Global News, CBS’s “60 Minutes,” ESPN, TMZ, Telemundo, Weather Channel, Entertainment Weekly, and Hearst.
L.A.-based Quibi, backed by $1 billion in funding from Hollywood studios and other investors, plans to launch the “quick-bite” service on April 6, 2020. Quibi’s theory is that its millennial-focused target audience will pay $5 (with ads) or $8 (with no ads) per month to watch premium shows, broken into episodes of under 10 minutes apiece.
In addition to the Daily Essentials, Quibi has greenlit a slate of scripted “Lighthouse” and unscripted “Alternative” shows from partners including Guillermo del Toro, Steven Spielberg, Sam Raimi, Jason Blum, Steven Soderbergh, Catherine Hardwicke and Anna Kendrick.
For Vox Media, the sale of the Polygon-branded show to Quibi is another opportunity to bank content-license revenue – whether or not Quibi ultimately succeeds. Vox Media Studios productions have included Vox’s “Explained” (Netflix), “American Style” (CNN) and “Retro Tech” (YouTube Originals) and Eater’s “No Passport Required” (PBS).
Quibi has announced T-Mobile as its exclusive wireless launch partner, but the companies haven’t said what that means in the way of perks or price breaks for T-Mobile customers.