Quibi’s Jeffrey Katzenberg Reveals Details About Phone-Only Streaming Platform

     March 27, 2020

Quibi’s co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg revealed several details about the soon-to-launch streaming platform in a new interview with Deadline. Katzenberg, the former chairman of Walt Disney Studios, has established an impressive lineup of creators for the smartphone-only platform, including Steven Spielberg, who is currently writing a horror series that will utilize special technology only allowing viewers to watch it at night. The content available on Quibi is divided into several categories, including Movies in Chapters like Most Dangerous Game starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz and Survive starring Sophie Turner, Unscripted and Docs, and Daily Essentials. The catch is, every program is designed to be watched on your smartphone, and every episode is under 15 minutes long to be easily watched on the go.

Katzenberg revealed several interesting details about the platform in the interview, including the platform’s price – $4.99 a month with ads and $7.99 without ads. Additionally, the app will only ever be available on smartphones, so don’t expect to watch Quibi on your smart TV.

“It’s not designed for TV. It’s unique on the phone. Our technology that has been created and patented for this makes watching it on the phone beautiful. It’s special. I can’t stand my TV on its side.”

He also stressed that Quibi is a platform and not a production studio, and that we won’t be seeing any in-house Quibi originals anytime soon.

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Image via Quibi

“We are a platform, we’re not a studio or a producer or a production company. We have this amazing partnership with all of the major media and entertainment companies and most of the independent producers in town, and I value them as suppliers to us and I don’t want to compete with them.”

Katzenberg also gave an indication about how far away we are from seeing that Spielberg show (the answer is “pretty far”):

“…I’m prodding him to get back to writing, because he wants to write that himself, and he’s written half of it. They came up with great technology for it and he’s very excited and we’re holding that just for him, that was his idea and I can’t wait for him to get a shot at it.”

Finally, Katzenberg clarified that there won’t be any library content available on Quibi (meaning pre-existing movies and TV shows that other streaming platforms use to stock their larders to keep viewers engaged), because watching content not specifically designed for the smartphone-only format is pretty much impossible. But he stressed that the coronavirus pandemic will not affect Quibi’s launch, and that with the exception of a view Daily Essentials, every launch title will be available as originally planned. Quibi releases April 6th, with a 90-day free trial being offered for a limited time to anyone who signs up.

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