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News in bite-size format – Chris Davies, BBC, on the new news format on Quibi

Podcast Episode 50
Podcast Episode 50
Podcast with Chris Davies
Chris Davies, BBC, is the driving force behind “Around the World by BBC News”, a news format on Quibi.

Quibi is a streaming platform committed to the motto “mobile first” which aims to bring together the best of Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Entertainment and information in compact bites for consumption on the go via smartphone. The concept is working: after launching in the USA on April 6, the app was downloaded 1.7 million times in the first week alone. The average age of users: early 30s.

New series and film formats pose entirely new storytelling challenges for the creative minds in the producing studios. Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman dubbed their project “The Next Form of Storytelling” when it was presented at the SXSW Festival in Austin in 2019. But news formats too have to change their structure if they are to fit into the new format.

BBC News has launched such a new news format as part of the “Daily Essentials” on the new mobile technology platform Quibi. The news show called “Around the World by BBC News” successfully went online just a few days ago, is tailored to consumption via mobile devices and addresses a predominantly younger target group of consumers, specifically Millennials and Generation Z.

Chris Davies is Executive Vice President Marketing and Distribution for Global News and is responsible for marketing, audience insights and sales for BBC World News and He is the driving force behind the partnership with Quibi. His fresh concept provides a compact overview of the most important events and stories worldwide in short format. The mission: To create a news format for the 21st century, produced by a young production team and suited to the modern habits of digital and mobile media consumption.

It is indeed exciting. It’s new. It’s different. It’s a new way for us to create content. It’s a very dynamic way to create content. The team working on it is made up of Millennials. These people enjoy the style of the content as well as the platform itself.

Chris Davies

In an interview with Alex Wunschel, Chris Davies gives an insight into the partnership with Quibi and describes how the BBC arrived at an implementable news concept for the new format. He also provides insights into practical problems that arise when creating content, such as the challenge of having to make content work in both portrait and landscape formats so viewers can use Quibi’s integrated Turnstyle feature. The target group, above all Millennials and Gen Z, is also a central theme. You can also find out in this podcast how Chis Davies plans to win over Quibi users with his content and how, in his opinion, Quibi will succeed in securing a firm place in his target group’s daily media use.

Other topics addressed in the interview with Chris Davies include:

  • Why has the BBC entered into a business partnership with Quibi?
  • What characterizes the content’s presentation style?
  • What is behind the concept of “Around the World”?
  • What challenges does the Turnstyle feature pose?
  • Can role models be found in Asia for the development of such formats?
  • Will the investment by Alibaba have an influence on the design?
  • Will Amazon Twitch arm itself to become a Quibi competitor?
  • Which media formats will Quibi be a danger to?

We hope you enjoy listening!

Alex Wunschel
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