Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman Reveal the Name of Their ‘NewTV’ Platform
Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s ambitious new short-form video platform finally has a name, and a shiny new website to boot.
Previously known simply as “NewTV,” Katzenberg and Whitman’s venture will henceforth be known as Quibi, the pair announced Wednesday at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles. Quibi, they said, is a portmanteau of “quick bites.”
“Jeffrey can’t stop saying the name Quibi,” Whitman, who Katzenberg recruited as CEO, said, per a report from Deadline. “I think that will be a fun name for us.”
Quick bites is the idea behind Quibi, a video streaming platform that will specialize in original, short-form content designed for smartphones. Katzenberg and Whitman have sold the idea as a mobile-based Netflix of sorts and have earned the backing of major Hollywood players, including Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony, Viacom, and AT&T’s newly-rebranded WarnerMedia.
Quibi has also courted tech investors, like Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. In August, Katzenberg’s holding company WndrCo announced it had secured a $1 billion seed-funding round for Quibi.
“Something cool is coming from Hollywood and Silicon Valley,” the new Quibi site reads. “[Q]uick bites of captivating entertainment, created for mobile by the best talent, designed to fit perfectly into any moment of your day.”
The company has said its content will include both scripted and unscripted shows developed with traditional Hollywood producers, though the company will not own or produce its own shows but rather license them. Episodes will run around 10 minutes. Consumers can sign up for one of two subscription plans: advertising-free or “advertising-light,” akin to Hulu, Whitman said earlier this 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,” Katzenberg said Wednesday. “We are going to do be able to do extraordinary storytelling.”
Quibi is expected to roll out late next year. Hollywood’s gatekeepers are clearly on board, but the question remains if consumers are willing to pay for mini TV shows on their mobile phones.