Quibi, the upcoming short-form streaming service led by producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and former Hewlett Packard chief Meg Whitman, has already sold $100 million worth of advertisements ahead of its spring 2020 launch, the duo revealed at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Wednesday.
The service, aiming to make mobile-friendly content that runs 10 minutes or less, has already signed Walmart, PepsiCo., Anheuser-Busch, Progressive and Procter & Gamble as its initial ad partners, CNBC reported. Short for “quick bites,” Quibi is set for an April 2020 debut.
To win over a “very difficult audience,” Katzenberg said, Quibi’s ads will be brief, with many running just six to 10 seconds long. Altogether, for an hour of programming, viewers will see less than three minutes worth of ads, the former Disney chairman said, per CNBC.
Whitman said she expects 75% of Quibi’s audience to opt for its $4.99 per month ad-supported offer, rather than its $7.99 per month ad-free deal.
With $1 billion in funding from big-name investors like Disney and Viacom, Whitman and Katzenberg have started ordering shows to fill the platform, including a series based on the rise of Snapchat — a show Katzenberg compared to its own version of “The Social Network.” Just in the last week, Quibi has announced three new series, including a sci-fi drama starring Don Cheadle, a stunt driving show from Idris Elba, and a new beauty series produced by and starring Tyra Banks.
“This is a completely new platform, with a completely new opportunity to tell stories in a different format,” Whitman said last week while speaking at the 2019 Produced By Conference. “People are watching up to 60 minutes a day of video on their phones, and that figure is only going to get bigger with the arrival of 5G.”