Science & Technology



Katzenberg's NewTV reveals official new name: Quibi

Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Science & Technology News

Jeffrey Katzenberg's new venture into streaming short bursts of video has a new name: Quibi.

It's short for quick bites of video, which the Los Angeles company hopes to roll out in a new platform in U.S. and Canada next year. Previously, the company went by NewTV.

Katzenberg and longtime tech executive Meg Whitman have raised $1 billion for Quibi, which will roll out video in chapters of under 10 minutes. The company hopes to sell its service for $5 a month with ads and $8 a month without ads.

"No one has done in video today what we think is essential on the globe in these quick bites," Katzenberg said.

The company is willing to pay up to roughly $6 million per hour for episodes. Major TV and film studios including Walt Disney Co. and Warner Media have supported the project. Already, filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro and producers including Jason Blum are planning to bring content for Quibi, Katzenberg said.

"These people are excited about doing something new," he said. "They want to be the pioneers."

Whitman said she believes Quibi could give consumers more opportunities to watch content on their smartphones. She said most of Netflix's streaming does not happen on mobile phones.

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According to tech news site CNET, most streaming still occurs over TV. Whitman hopes Quibi can change that, with 90 percent of its customers viewing videos on mobile phones.

Katzenberg acknowledged that what he is doing "falls somewhere between improbable and impossible."

"We're not naive about what we're doing, we know how hard it is," he said.

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