January 8, 2020 5:23 pm

Quibi’s unique approach has the elements to change streaming

Quibi's unique approach has the elements to change streaming
Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. Credit: Gage Skidmore (via Wikimedia Commons)

Streaming is still relatively new, and while major companies are in the game, Quibi’s unique brand approach could further revolutionize home entertainment.

Quibi announced an extremely affordable $4.99 price point ($7.99 with ads) on Wednesday at CES, per Entertainment Weekly, and dropped a hilarious, meta trailer to celebrate its pending April 6, 2020 arrival:

Look, it’s a hot take to say the mobile-only Quibi is going to revolutionize streaming, which is already revolutionary. But permit an explanation, please.


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Quibi’s streaming programming is one of a kind

The Streaming Wars are already making everything crazy. An arms race to acquire content. Millions spent on original programming. Big-time players like Apple, Disney, and soon WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal entering the marketplace.

Those streamers, in addition to Netflix, Amazon and others are spending big on preexisting IPs and original, traditional program like movies or TV series. On the other hand, Quibi is doing something entirely unlike anyone else.

Allow CEO Meg Whitman to explain further in a quote cited from 2018 in today’s EW story:


“You leave the house every morning with a little TV in your pocket. It’s called your smart phone…During the day, you have these in-between moments. Ten minutes here, 15 minutes there, where you want to see something great.”

Entertainment Weekly

The concept to give carte blanche to auteurs and greater room to tell long-spanning narratives is appealing. However, Quibi is taking on a challenge that runs almost opposite that.

“We’re not YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook…We fill a niche they don’t do; we provide content for people on the go,” said Whitman, per MarketWatch.

TechCrunch broke down the three Quibi content tiers in greater detail: unscripted shows, movies and “Daily Essentials.” The latter features five-to-six-minute pieces of news, sports, weather and anything else in that vein.


Movies will be told in episodes, or chapters, like TV shows. Content will come in parcels of 10 minutes or less. This is a lot to wrap the brain around, yet it’s so suitable to today’s age, where attention spans are shorter than ever.

A streaming experience constantly evolving in real time

Indubitably, the coolest feature Quibi boasts is the “Turnstyle.” In this instance, let the video demonstration tell the story:

How awesome is that? Subscribers can constantly get a different perspective of the action on their small screens. It’s amazing to ponder how Quibi’s productions pulled this off.

Those efforts likely won’t go unnoticed by consumers. It had to have contributed to the whopping $1 billion content budget in Year 1 alone.

How will Quibi foot the bill?

The inconvenience of Quibi unavailable for streaming anywhere but on smartphones may cause quibbles. They’re just starting off, though, and could expand their scope in that regard over time.

Plus, an exclusive partnership with T-Mobile — who boasts a subscriber base of over 84 million — gives Quibi an edge to launch strong.

There’s reportedly a decision to be made later this month on the prospective merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. The subscriber count for Sprint is 32 million, further increasing Quibi’s upside.

Between a low price point and unprecedented short, content style blended with A-list talent and production value, Quibi is a streaming maverick.

Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg co-founded DreamWorks Animation with Steven Spielberg. To boot, Spielberg is creating his own short horror series for Quibi – if that gives you an idea of the caliber of talent the service is attracting.

Buckle up, everyone: Quibi is coming soon!

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