Media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and veteran tech executive Meg Whitman used the prominent platform of Vanity Fairs New Establishment Summit to announce the name of their new mobile video startup and drop the names of four high-profile Hollywood players who will create content for the subscription service.
Filmmakers Sam Rami, Guillermo del Toro and Antoine Fuqua and noted producer Jason Blum will all create shows for the new mobile subscription service, which launches next year.
“These people are so excited about doing something new. They want to be the pioneers. They want to be able to show the path in doing this,” said Katzenberg. “We are going to do be able to do extraordinary storytelling.”
Whitman announced the service will be called Quibi, short for quick bites of content.
“Jeffrey cant stop saying the name Quibi,” Whitman said. “I think that will be a fun name for us.”
The duo has begun building momentum around their venture, announcing last month that they had secured an initial round of $1 billion for their mobile video network, NewTV, with an eye toward launching the subscription service by the end of 2019.
The service will be a two-tiered subscription model analogous to that of Hulu. The lower-priced version will have select advertising. Pricing has not been determined, but the goal is to make it “affordable for a diverse group of viewers.” The target age is 30.
Its unclear how the venture will fare against more entrenched players, such as Netflix, whose movies and TV shows already play on mobile devices, and mobile native apps like Snapchat, which just announced its first slate of programming.
The backers include such Hollywood players as Disney, eOne, Fox, ITV, Lionsgate, MGM, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Viacom, and WarnerMedia. Technology investors include e-commerce giant Alibaba. Strategic partner investors include Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Liberty Global and Madrone Capital, the last of which led the round.