Chance the Rapper and Lena Waithe to launch content on new mobile app Quibi
Several Chicago celebrities are making short-form videos for the app backed by Disney and Viacom
South Side natives Chance the Rapper and Lena Waithe will play key roles in the launch of a streaming service that plans to show premium content through short videos.
Quibi, which is short for “quick bites,” plans to make its debut April 6 by releasing 50 shows onto its app including original content featuring Chance, Waithe, Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Liam Hemsworth, Nicole Richie and Reese Witherspoon, among others.
The app, which is financially backed by industry giants including Disney, NBCUniversal and Viacom, was founded in 2018 by film producer Jeffery Katzenberg.
Quibi plans to offer three categories of content: Movies in Chapters (films told in segments of 7 to 10 minutes each), Unscripted and Docs (10-minute episodes about sports, entertainment, and travel, among others topics) and Daily Essentials (5 to 6-minute news bites).
The Quibi app will cost $4.99 with ads and $7.99 without.
Company executives say that Quibi will offer the first entertainment platform designed exclusively for smartphones.
Chance, a Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist who planned to relaunch Chicagoist after buying the defunct media outlet in 2018, will executive produce and host the reboot of the popular MTV show “Punk’d,” where elaborate pranks are pulled on celebrities.
Waithe, a screenwriter/TV producer who created the Chicago-based Showtime TV series, “The Chi,” is scheduled to executive produce “You Ain’t Got These,” a show that highlights intersectional topics within sneaker culture. Among her guests will be Chicago’s Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks.
Other Chicago actors involved in Quibi shows are Harvey native Keke Palmer, who co-hosts a version of MTV’s dating show “Singled Out” that puts a unique twist on online matchmaking, and Sophie Thatcher, who stars in “When the Street Lights Go On,” a murder mystery. Thatcher has made multiple appearances on NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Med.”
Local basketball star Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers) will appear on “Thanks a Million,” from executive producer Lopez.
The streaming service, which has a 90-day free trial, plans to release 175 original shows and about 8,500 quick bites of content in the first year.