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 even been launched yet, and it's 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 The information .
The striking figure is, on the surface, a bit silly for a service that has not been released yet and does not have a brand name that comes out as good as Netflix (or, you know, not 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. Income statement for the fourth quarter of last year. Amazon, on the other hand, is working on the massive adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time with the former possibly with the largest budget in the history of television.
Meanwhile, Disney is putting an amazing level of investment in its next Disney + broadcast service, setting it below the Netflix introduction level, reserving the platform releases of Avengers: Endgame and part of the colossal entertainment apparatus of the company to work on the production of new shows and films that can be included in the service, including Lucasfilm with a new trilogy of Star Wars films by Gamne of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB 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 and Star Wars properties of Disney, and the Amazon adaptation The Lord of the Rings . 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 hired the esteemed director Guillermo del Toro and the original director of the Spider-Man trilogy Spider-Man Sam Raimi to produce new content. The service has also illuminated a series that explores the original story of Snapchat and its co-founder and CEO, Evan Spiegel, which compares to the Social Network by Aaron Sorkin .
But if Quibi takes 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, Twitch and TikTok, the short format video like the one Quibi wants to produce, which would be less than 10 minutes, may not be the youngest. Users of mobile devices, even if they are genuinely high quality in nature and are produced by big 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.