TV in quick bites, on a phone near you, is nothing to quibble ...

Lifestyle

TV in quick bites, on a phone near you, is nothing to quibble about

Quibi is looking to change the future of video streaming when it launches on Monday

Tymon Smith

As the coronavirus lockdown threatens the future of traditional film distribution and has streaming services rubbing their hands at the prospect of millions of people forced to stay indoors with nothing to do but watch their offerings, Quibi, a new service designed for cellphones, is looking to change the future of video streaming when it launches on Monday.

The brainchild of former Disney and DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and former Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman, the company has, for the past two years, been raising $1bn (about R18,2bn) in start-up capital and enlisting the services of heavyweight Hollywood A-listers for the production of its content — episodes of less than 10 minutes that can be watched in portrait and landscape mode on cellphones.

As Katzenberg and Whitman see it, their competition is not the streaming giants such as Netflix, Disney Plus or Amazon Prime, but free video services such as YouTube and Instagram, which, while they allow for the creation of user-generated content, don’t, as Katzenberg said, “know how to do what we do, with all due respect”...

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