- Quibi, the mobile video startup that begins streaming on April 6, is planning a reality competition show that gives gamers a chance to win a spot on the FaZe Clan esports team. "FaZe Up," the working title for the interactive game show, will ask viewers to submit videos touting their gaming skills and explaining why they should be on the team roster, per an announcement the show's producer shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Quibi will ask subscribers to use its mobile app to vote for six finalists who will travel to the FaZe Clan mansion to compete in video game and real-life challenges. FaZe will select a final winner who will get to "live the FaZe lifestyle, game competitively and win life-changing money," per the announcement.
- Entertainment and sports media company Whistle is producing "FaZe Up" for Quibi. FaZe Clan was founded in 2010 and now has a roster of 85 gaming influencers on digital content and streaming platforms including YouTube, Mixer, Twitch, Instagram and Twitter.
Quibi, which stands for "quick bites" of short video made for mobile viewing, has ramped up its promotions and programming as the launch date approaches. With the show "FaZe Up," the startup aims to reach the growing audience for esports entertainment that has made celebrities of gamers and attracted sponsorships from major brands.
The reality game show has features to engage a mobile audience, such as voting directly in the Quibi app for gamers who'll get a chance to join the FaZe team. "FaZe Up" combines a reality TV competition like "American Idol" with video game content to appeal to esports fans. The global audience for esports is 443 million people, greater than viewership for the NFL, MLB and NBA, per research from Green Man Gaming.
Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg started Quibi, whose CEO is Meg Whitman, the former head of Hewlett-Packard and eBay. The startup has strong financial backing and has generated interest from sponsors seeking a brand-safe alternative to other video platforms whose dependence on user-generated content makes them vulnerable to abuse. Quibi last year said it sold out its first-year ad inventory at $150 million. The company added cable network Discovery, General Mills, Taco Bell and T-Mobile to its previously announced lineup of AB InBev, Google, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Progressive and Walmart.
In addition to "FaZe Up," Quibi will stream original content from Hollywood notables Demi Lovato, Jennifer Lopez, John Travolta, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Steven Spielberg and Reese Witherspoon. The company last month introduced its flexible "Turnstyle" ad format that can be viewed on vertical and horizontal screens with tech that stitches together vertical and horizontal video of the same scenes. Quibi has said it will charge $5 a month with ads or $8 for a commercial-free version.