Quibi is set to be released in April 2020 and has already garnered $1 billion in investments

By Tomás Mier
July 03, 2019 09:49 PM
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Is this the new Netflix?

An up-and-coming streaming network titled Quibi, short for “quick bites,” is set to hit phones in April 2020 — and it already has secured support from Hollywood heavyweights from Guillermo Del Toro and Steven Spielberg to Jennifer Lopez and Zac Efron.

Quibi Founder and Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg (who co-founded DreamWorks Animation) and CEO Meg Whitman (who previously served as CEO and president of Hewlett Packard) are leading this new platform, which has already garnered $1 billion in investments.

“I’m going to continue to believe, and argue, and preach that Quibi is not a substitute or a competitor for television,” Katzenberg, 68, told Vanity Fair. “Our [service] is exclusively about what you do from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on your phone. And what you’re doing today, if you’re in our core demographic of 25- to 35-year-olds, is you’re actually watching 60 to 70 min of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. That growth is now a well established consumer habit that Quibi is sailing into.”

Zac Efron, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Timberlake
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images; Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images; Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Once released, users can pay $4.99 to access the platform with advertising or $7.99 without it. It’s set to feature 7,000 pieces of content at launch, according to Vanity Fair. It will also feature both vertical and horizontal video, Thrillist reported.

Comedian Chris Rock will narrate Wild Kingdom, a series of short documentaries produced by National Geographic on the platform. Each episode is set to be four to five minutes long, according to Fortune.

“It’s just sort of a circle of life of an animal, an elephant one week, a salamander the next week. It doesn’t really matter what the animal is,” Katzenberg told Fortune.

Lena Waithe
Vera Anderson/WireImage

Emmy-winning actress Lena Waithe will host her own sneaker show titled You Ain’t Got These while director Del Toro, 54, will release a “modern zombie story,” THR reported.

PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive Idris Elba is set to star alongside Ken Block on a stunt-driving series, while Spielberg, 72, will work on a horror series that viewers can only watch at night, Vanity Fair reported.

Lopez, 49, will also hit the phone screen with her own show titled Thanks a Million — Lopez and nine others will choose an influential person from their early lives and give them $100,000 each, as long as that person passes down $50,000 to a similar person and that person hands off $25,000 and so on, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Quibi videos are expected to be short, but will still tell long-form stories just over a longer period of time.

“We love the idea of ‘one a day’ because we think it builds watercooler,” Katzenberg told Fortune. “The problem with streaming is that on the one hand, it has a lot of convenience; you’re in control of it. But on the other, you and I are never ever watching the same thing.

Guillermo Del Toro
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Efron, 31, will also get his own show alongside his brother. The Efrons will attempt to survive without food, water and technology for a set number of days. Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake will host a show where he asks singers about the songs inspired them to become musicians. Timberlake, 38, and the featured singers would then sing a duet of that song.

Other big names joining the new platform include Chrissy Teigen, Spider-Man director Sam Raimi, Get Out producer Jason Blum, Training Day director Antoine Fuqua and Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke.

“I don’t think we’re going to steal minutes from anyone else,” said Whitman, per THR. “I think we’ll add to [the content people consume] and help lift all boats.”