Quibi (short for “quick bites”) was first unveiled by Katzenberg and Whitman back in August. The company has already raised $1 billion from investors, though Whitman noted they plan to raise “about half that” again either this fall or next spring.
The company currently has projects in the works from A-listers like Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, and Sam Raimi. Each series is expected to be two to four hours in length, with each one divided into segments that will be no longer than 10 minutes each.
According to Katzenberg, the service will have two pricing tiers at launch on April 6, 2020. The first will cost $4.99 with one pre-roll ad before each video segment — a 10-second ad if the video is less than 5 minutes and a 15-second ad for 5-10 minute videos. The ad-free option will cost $7.99. Whitman also said they expect to have approximately 7,000 pieces of content available within the first year.
In terms of programming strategy, they said they are pursuing a range of projects but that they will be diving deeply into viewership data as soon as it is available to better focus their slate.
“I said to Meg that, until day one, every decision that we make around content will be driven by instinct,” Katzenberg said. “Minutes after we launch, everything will be driven by data.”
Katzenberg also went in depth on the financials of a Quibi series. Quibi will pay cost plus 20% up to $6 million an hour. The Fuqua project currently in production, titled “#Freerayshawn,” will be approximately two and a half hours long with a $15 million budget.
In terms of ownership, two versions of each series will exist. The first will be the Quibi version divided into segments, which will be owned exclusively by Quibi for seven years. At the same time, the creator of the project will edit together a full-length version with no segmentation. After two years, the creator will fully own the full-length version and can sell it globally.
The assembled producers seemed quite impressed with what they were hearing from Katzenberg and Whitman, with positive murmurs moving through the crowd on multiple occasions.