Quibi may still be almost a year away from launch, but it’s already convinced advertisers to jump aboard. At the Cannes Lions advertising festival, the company’s co-chief Meg Whitman revealed it had booked $100 million in upfront ad sales, the Wall Street Journal reported. That comprises two-thirds of its ad inventory for its first year. It’s a vote of confidence by the ad community that this unlaunched service will be a hit with audiences.
In one sense, it makes sense Madison Avenue would line up behind Quibi. For one thing, marketers will want to try a new format—Quibi will concentrate on short programs ranging from 5 to 10 minutes in length. For another, outside of Hulu, there aren’t a lot of ad-supported video streaming services out there featuring the kinds of high-budget content Quibi is going for.
And yet, with each new dollar amount that gets attached to the service (it is also planning to raise another mega round of financing) the stakes keep getting raised. Whether Quibi’s novel programming format draws any viewers remains the big question. To keep advertisers coming back, Quibi will need to deliver.