If you've never heard of Quibi, the abbreviated mobile video platform started by former HP CEO Meg Whitman and Hollywood heavyweight Jeffrey Katzenberg, you're probably not alone.
The service has not yet been launched, and it is not supposed to be for another year. But Quibi, which is named after the phrase "quick bite" for the types of easy-to-digest video content it purports to produce, plans to raise an additional $ 1 billion, in addition to the $ 1 billion it already has, to get its service properly. financed to take off, according to a report from this Information.
The surprising figure is, on the surface, a bit silly for a service that has not yet been launched and does not have a brand name that slips as well as Netflix (or, you know, at all). But the founders of Quibi looking for up to $ 2 billion in funds illustrate the seriousness of a company to take on platforms such as Netflix and traditional entertainment conglomerates like Disney, even when you have Hollywood and Silicon Valley on board. tone.
Last year, Netflix spent $ 12 billion to acquire and produce content for its platform, and plans to spend up to $ 15 billion this year, according to the company's fourth-quarter earnings statement last year. Amazon, on the other hand, is working on massive adaptations of The Lord of the rings Y The wheel of time, with the first potentially in command of the largest budget in the history of television.
Meanwhile, Disney is putting an amazing level of investment in its next Disney + broadcast service, with a price below Netflix's introduction level, reserving Avengers: end of the gameThe launch in real time for the platform and almost all parts of the colossal entertainment apparatus of the company to work on the production of new programs and films that can be included in the service, including Lucasfilm with a new trilogy of Star Wars movies about Gamne of thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Disney also acquired Comcast's stake in Hulu this week, giving it full control of another platform with which it can boost original content.
What does Quibi have? Not much, at least compared to the seemingly endless wave of Netflix Originals, the Marvel properties of Disney and Star Wars, and Amazon The Lord of the rings adaptation. That's precisely why Whitman and Katzenberg seem so determined to raise so much money. Without significant budgets, Quibi will never get the names he needs to attract viewers or future talent. So far, we know that the company has registered the esteemed director Guillermo del Toro and the original. Spiderman The trilogy director Sam Raimi to produce new content. The service has also given the green light to a series that explores the original story of Snapchat and its co-founder and CEO, Evan Spiegel, which is being compared to that of Aaron Sorkin. The social network.
But if Quibi is going to take off, it's an open question. Short format video is an untested format for mobile devices, especially after the disaster that was Verizon's Go90, which burned down to $ 1.2 billion before Verizon closed it last year. Snap also had a great opportunity competing in the mobile video space with its Discover initiative.
Unless it is produced by the user, as it is on YouTube and Twitch and TikTok, short format videos like the one Quibi wants to produce, which would be videos of less than 10 minutes, may not reach younger mobile users. even if it is genuinely high quality in nature and produced by great Hollywood names. But the opportunities to replicate the success of video streaming services seem too attractive for Whitman and Katzenberg to ignore, and may cost $ 2 billion in investor money to solve if the duo can find gold where so many others They have attacked.