No matter if you’re in front of the camera or behind it, it’s important to stay current with the way content is consumed. Actors and filmmakers alike should be aware that in the ever-changing landscape of streaming services, a new platform will be breaking in next year that is unlike any of its predecessors. Industry giant Jeffrey Katzenberg is behind the new, short-form content service Quibi, which is set to start in April of 2020.
The innovative streaming platform is cleverly named – Quibi is short for “quick bites” of video – and will only be available to viewers from their smart phones. But don’t let the small medium fool you. Some impressive filmmakers are already attached to projects that will be found on Quibi, including Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Catherine Hardwicke and Antoine Fuqua. The service will release films in short episodes lasting 10 minutes or less. This format is aimed at a young target audience, specifically those between 25 and 35 years of age. One intention behind its innovative structure is that users will view content between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during short breaks in their days. A notable exception is Steven Spielberg’s upcoming, aptly-named series “Spielberg’s After Dark,” which will only be available to viewers after the sun sets.
With such heralded names already attached, it may come as no surprise that subscribers will have to pay for the streaming platform. Quibi will offer an ad-supported version for about $5 per month and an ad-free option that will run at almost $8 per month. Subscribers will have plenty to watch, though, if the company successfully executes its plan to release 7,000 pieces of content its first year out of the gate. And they can expect to see some familiar faces amongst the plethora of short episodes, including Anna Kendrick, Liam Hemsworth and Don Cheadle. These A-listers are all slated to star in scripted narratives, but there are two other distinct categories Quibi will offer. To get the news, viewers can check out Daily Essentials, which tailors what they’ll see based on their preferences. Quibi’s other content falls under the umbrella of alternative programming, which is not serialized and includes reality shows.
In eight short months, the way we consume content could radically change. If Quibi is successful, filmmakers will have to adapt the way in which they create projects, crafting them to be viewed on a very small screen. Actors will need to adjust to the new streaming platform, as well, so that their emotional and character work translates to viewers watching on a smart phone. Critics are uncertain if the new platform will take off, though, in a competitive market of established subscription streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. But until April, all we know for certain is that Quibi is coming.