April 6, 2020 — mark the date, it’s when Quibi’s new streaming video service goes live. Founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg, led by Meg Whitman, and backed by more than a billion dollars the streaming service has high hopes to take mobile video to the next level.
Quibi plans to make its service mobile-first and utilize its TurnStyle technology to offer a better viewing experience no matter how you’re holding your device. The company also has plans to use your phone’s other sensors and features to create different types of stories, like a horror show you can only watch at night or interactive fitness programs that can track your steps.
Katzenberg explained at CES that every great innovation in Hollywood has been driven by new technology, but today’s streaming services haven’t fully capitalized on the way many people consume content — meaning, on their phone.
While I’ve not had the chance to play around with Quibi myself I worry that the service could easily come across as a gimmicky attempt to introduce a new type of viewing technology, especially if the company doesn’t have quality content. We all know that the reason Disney+ has already amassed more than 25 million subscribers is due to its content portfolio. The content is everything with these streaming services.
I’ve watched a handful of the teaser trailers that can be found on Quibi’s site and I have to say, based on the trailers, the content appears high quality or as Quibi likes to say, “movie-quality shows designed for your phone.” Each episode is expected to be 10 minutes or less and released daily, however, still no word on how many episodes are in each series. While I understand many people watch video content on their phones, I’m still a bit old school–I prefer to watch movies and TV on my, well, nice 65″ Samsung QLED TV and occasionally on my iPad. Maybe I’m the wrong target demographic or maybe I’ll come around once I get to experience the service. We shall see.
That being said, even if Quibi doesn’t pan out as a standalone streaming service, it’s entirely possible it could license its TurnStyle tech to others in the streaming space, which, could be a decent business model assuming others aren’t already working on similar tech (which I do find a little difficult to believe). Plus, with more than a billion dollars raised, it will make the shift from promising streaming company to technology licensing company a very bitter pill to swallow.
You can pre-order Quibi today on both iOS and Android. What do you think about Quibi? Will you be subscribing?