Short clips, big risk: Startup wants to turn streaming on its head
Do you like Steven Spielberg and scary TV shows? Well, he’s currently working on one, but there’s a catch: it will only be available on mobile phones, at night.
Are you a fan of Jane Austen adaptations? That’s great! There’s a gay “Pride and Prejudice” inspired rom-com coming soon.
How about home renovation shows? Everyone likes those, right? Sure, but this one is a cross between HGTV and CSI, in that it only includes houses where infamous murders or crimes occurred.
Oh, and did we mention that these series will be diced up into short episodes — all just 10 minutes or less?
They’re all part of the lineup for Quibi, a new streaming service to be launched in 2020 by two veteran CEOs — Meg Whitman of Silicon Valley (she previously headed eBay and Hewlett-Packard) and Jeffrey Katzenberg of Hollywood (he led DreamWorks Animation).
Their new startup, short for “Quick Bites,” is an odd proposition — and a risky one at that.
As the streaming wars heat up, companies like Netflix, Apple, WarnerMedia (CNN’s parent company), NBCUniversal and Disney are all vying to be bigger and grander than their competitors. Whitman and Katzenberg are instead daring to go small.
The two are wagering a lot of money — and potentially their reputations as two of the business world’s mightiest moguls — on a bet that consumers will pay for a mobile-only, short-form video service.