- Quibi said it has secured $100 million in upfront ad commitments from six advertisers, including Google, Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Progressive and AB InBev, according to Variety. The short-form mobile video platform spearheaded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman first announced the news at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France.
- The deals were struck after a round of pitches that CEO Whitman helped to lead in February, she told Variety at the show. The executive said the deals are category-exclusive, so P&G, for example, will initially be Quibi's only packaged goods advertiser when the service launches in April 2020.
- Quibi has around $50 million in ad inventory left for the year and aims to sign on two or three other advertisers, per Variety. Whitman told Variety that Quibi is brokering an exclusive distribution partnership with a U.S. wireless carrier, so other telecoms are out of the question for now. The company plans to offer make-goods to advertisers if it falls short of its upfront audience guarantees during its first year.
Quibi, which raised $1 billion from companies like Disney, NBCUniversal and AT&T's WarnerMedia, now has the support of several major advertisers at it looks to make a splash with viewers and monetize a high volume of content. The platform's securing $100 million in ad commitments shows how marketers across a number of categories still have a clear interest in short-form mobile video, despite the crowdedness of the space and some noteworthy failures.
Quibi doesn't appear to be trying to break the mold with its ad products. The service will push a single pre-roll ad of either six, 10 or 15 seconds before episodes of shows, each of which will run less than 10 minutes. Quibi has other ad formats in development, Variety reports, but the details are unclear. The ad-supported version of Quibi will be $4.99 per month, and a premium, ad-free version will cost $7.99 per month.
One draw for launch partners could be the category exclusivity, which ensures they're able to cut through the noise without having to rival competitors chasing the same audiences. Quibi touting make-goods also lessens the risk for advertisers that might otherwise be wary of spending significant money on mobile video originals.
The shadow of Go90, Verizon's now-shuttered mobile streaming service, looms large over Quibi. The two platforms in many ways mirror each other, carrying unscripted and scripted original mobile video content that looks to capture the elusive young eyeballs that have turned away from broadcast and cable TV in recent years. Go90 received roughly $1.2 billion in technology and content investments from its parent company across three years of operation. Advertisers were similarly excited about Go90, providing $50 million in upfront ad commitments ahead of its 2015 rollout, according to Ad Age. But the platform never scored a significant audience, and Verizon pulled the plug last July.
Unlike Go90, Quibi will eschew licensed content, according to Variety. The service plans to dole out "25 or 26" new bits of content per day, Katzenberg has said, and has projects in the works from Hollywood heavyweights like Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro.
Quibi earlier this month announced it's looking to raise an additional $500 million before launch, Forbes reported. It will have an extensive marketing push to drum up consumer interest, including through a kickoff event featuring talent from across several industries, Katzenberg told Variety.