A new player just getting into the competitive field of the streaming platforms. It is Quibi, a platform that features series and movies up to 10 minutes in length designed for cellular phones, and are made by most tellers and interpreters of Hollywood directors. In times of quarantine at the global level, the proposal of Quibi is very attractive, and comes to compete with the big players in the market such as Netflix and Amazon.
Quibi —acronym of “quick bites” (bites rapids)— was founded and is headed by industry veteran Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of Disney for ten years and founder of the studios of DreamWorks Animation. The platform has 51 original productions ready to view on-demand and other 120 in different phases of production to premiere in the first year only. The contents include movies into chapters of between seven and ten minutes (equivalent to a web series), series, documentaries or entertainment, and news programs of between five and six minutes.
The level of initial investment raised -1.750 million dollars, the production value of 6 million dollars per hour of filming— and the figures of the industry who work artistically with the platform give an indication of Quibi is not a project as marginal, but one of the big bets of the future.
Figures such as Guillermo del Toro, Sam Raimi, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Steven Soderbergh, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Favreau, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or Reese Witherspoon are just some of the stars that already produce content shorts for Quibi. And among the actors and actresses there is no shortage of stars: Kevin Hart, Christoph Waltz, Liam Hemsworth, Sophie Turner and Laura Dern are some of the that will be on display. These proper names are capable of upsetting big players in the streaming such as Netflix, Amazon or Disney .
Among the series promoted of Quibi include “Most Dangerous Game”, starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz, about a businessman in bankruptcy that agree to participate in a human hunt. It is also “Survive”, where the actress Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark in “Game of Thrones” ) plays a young woman who suffers serious disruption after a family tragedy. And another bet interesting is “The Fugitive”, a recycled version of the series of the same name by the decade of the 60’s and the movie in 1993 with Harrison Ford. Here the role of the police is in the hands of Kiefer Sutherland.
In the category of reality shows are “Elbe vs. Block,” a series of eight episodes where the popular Idris Elba faces a professional racer, rally, Ken Block. And Jennifer Lopez produced “Thanks a Million”, a program where different celebrities give away $ 100,000 to people unknown who have generated an impact on their lives.
The short audiovisual format is not new, nor much less. Since 2013, the channel UN3 (the National University of Three of February), for example, is one of the strongest proponents of the genre of the short series designed and developed for the web, with numerous releases per year that can be seen for free both at the website as on the app channel.
“As well as film, TV air and cable TV were adding new and different forms of consumption of audiovisual work, without deleting the “previous”, mobile devices and the internet open up a immense fan of new ways of producing and consuming content,” he said in a conversation with Telam Rocio Carbajo, general coordinator of the channel UN3.
From that experience, Carbajo mused that releases like Quibi respond to a transformation in cultural consumption, but that does not represent a replacement of an old format as the TV series with episodes an hour for a new one with chapters brief, but rather a coexistence. “The audio-visual content is going to see (and are seeing) in small doses in the cell, but also on a giant screen in cinemas and on televisions in living rooms. I think what’s interesting is to be able to explore new forms of narration which make the technology”, he noted.