October 22, 2019
Quibi, the Hollywood startup aimed at delivering “quick bite” mobile entertainment to millennials, has partnered with T-Mobile to deliver the streaming service when it launches in April. T-Mobile, the country’s third largest mobile network with 83.1 million customers, has been searching for entertainment partners to better compete with AT&T, which acquired Time Warner last year and plans to launch streaming service HBO Max next year. What the Quibi partnership means for T-Mobile subscribers has yet to be revealed.
The Los Angeles Times reports that neither Quibi chief executive Meg Whitman nor T-Mobile chief executive John Legere have released details of the financial terms. Quibi, launched by entertainment executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and Whitman, “has made waves after raising $1 billion in financing from Disney, WarnerMedia and other major studios and investors.”
The startup, which plans to air a six-minute version of “60 Minutes” among other new shows, is anticipated to raise “an additional $500 million this fall.” Other content partners include Telemundo, TMZ, the Weather Channel and Entertainment Weekly.
The service, which targets people aged 25 to 35, includes Daily Essentials such as news; long-form narratives delivered in short chapters; and so-called alternative content including reality, documentaries and food shows. Quibi, which costs $5 per month with ads and $8 per month without, plans to “amass more than 7,000 pieces of content in its first year.”
The startup will compete with the “large subscription platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, as well as free, mostly ad-supported sites such as YouTube and Facebook.”
Quibi, which has signed directors Antoine Fuqua, Guillermo del Toro, Sam Raimi and Steven Spielberg, “aims to make money through subscriptions and advertising,” stating that “in its first year it will have an ad inventory worth $150 million and that such brands as Google, Walmart and Procter & Gamble have signed on.”