A new paid video streaming service Quibi has launched, offering original short form Hollywood shows that are 10 minutes or shorter, part funded by ads.
Set to launch in the US on 6 April, Quibi has raised $1bn (£763m) in funds and commissioned some of Hollywood’s biggest names to make content for its mobile-only service.
The firm intends to charge $4.99 (£3.80) per month for basic access and $7.99 for an ad-free version.
Quibi said it would target viewers aged between 18 and 44 years old. But most of that audience is accustomed to watching short-form videos for free.
Quibi’s chief executive Meg Whitman and founder (former Disney exec) Jeffrey Katzenberg announced the details of the service at the CES tech expo in Las Vegas.
She was previously the chief of eBay and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, while he produced some of Disney’s best known animated movies before heading up Dreamworks Animation.
The stars involved in the new service include Steven Spielberg, Sam Raimi and Guillermo del Toro. The services will include episodic series, and also movies – which will be divided up into chapters.
Steven Spielberg will create a horror series, After Dark, that can only be viewed after sunset. To do this, the app will check the user’s location and the local time to check it is indeed dark where they are.
In addition to entertainment, the service intends to screen bespoke news bulletins from NBC, BBC and Telemundo, among others.
Launched at a presentation at CES 2020, the creator’s showcased a feature called Turnstile, which allows viewers to keep the image full-screen, whether they hold their phone in landscape or portrait mode.
Content creators have framed their shots so that the action suits either aspect ratio, and in some cases have used the facility to reveal a different point-of-view. For instance one show features a traditional perspective when the picture is widescreen, but shows a view of the protagonist’s phone when held vertical.