Spielberg has already written five or six episodes for his upcoming horror project, which is being developed under the working title “Spielberg’s After Dark,” according to Quibi co-founder – and, of course, longtime Spielberg collaborator – Jeffrey Katzenberg. The former Walt Disney Studios chairman and DreamWorks Animation co-founder unveiled a slew of information about Quibi at Produced By in Los Angeles Saturday and the Banff World Media Festival in Canada Sunday.
Of course, even “Jaws” and “Poltergeist” aren’t quite as scary when watched while the sun is out. That’s why “Spielberg After Dark” will only be available at night, with Spielberg originally requesting that the program only be distributed after midnight, Katzenberg said Sunday.
Quibi’s compromise solution will be to put a clock on phones that will tick down until the sun sets wherever the user is. The show, which will have around 10 to 12 episodes, will then become available, only to fade into the shadows when the sun rises again.
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It’s an avant-garde idea for a platform that is largely defined by experimentation. Shows on Quibi, short for “quick bites,” are designed to be watched on the go, with each episode of a series ranging from 7 to 10 minutes in length. The short-form format is designed to make Quibi appealing to millennials, the platform’s key demographic, and others who spend hours a day on their phone.
Quibi’s smartphone-focused design will cater to an underserved market and help the platform stand out from streaming giants such as Netflix and Hulu, Katzenberg said during his keynote address at the Banff World Media Festival. The streaming service will launch with eight productions. After that, 26 additional projects will keep the Quibi’s content fresh, with one new series hitting the platform every other Monday for the first year.
Spielberg aside, producers and actors such as Antoine Fuqua, Guillermo del Toro, Laurence Fishburne and Stephan James are confirmed to be working on projects for Quibi. Steven Soderbergh (“Logan Lucky”) also recently signed to produce a project for the platform, Katzenberg said Saturday.
Quibi’s bite-sized content will come with a matching price tag: The first of Quibi’s two pricing tiers will cost $4.99 per month and will run one ad before each video segment. An ad-free subscription will cost $7.99 per month. Both pricing plans are cheaper than all the subscriptions currently available on major competing platforms and Quibi will also have a two-week free trial period.
Whether consumers will jump for such a platform will become clearer next April, but investors are decidedly interested in the concept: Quibi has already raised $1 billion in anticipation of its launch next year.