First things first: Quibi is the name of yet another streaming service that will be offered to consumers in the near future. It’s short for “quick bites” and ugh. (The further we get from cable companies, the closer it feels we donked up a little bit now that we need so many services to see the media we want to see. Although, I think the a la carte pricing still wins with streaming services.)
Founded by Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg, the service is set to go live in April 2020 with a price of $4.99 with short ads or $7.99 to go ad-free. DC Universe has the pull of offering up new and old movies and television shows — as well as comics — on their streaming service. Netflix has original series and currently, Marvel flicks. Hulu has television shows from multiple sources and movies too. So what’s the hook with Quibi?
It’s a mobile-focused service. That’s right. Quibi wants people to watch shows on their mobile devices instead of streaming it to their huge televisions via AppleTV or other app-based platforms. Why in the hell would I want to squint at my phone screen when I could watch my very large television? Well, Quibi’s founders obviously have some friends in high places to help them pull in viewers, like Steven Spielberg for instance.
Katzenberg revealed on June 9, 2019, that Spielberg is writing “chapters” of a scary show for Quibi:
“Steven Spielberg came in, and said, ‘I have a super scary story I want to do,’” Katzenberg said. “He’s writing it himself. He hasn’t [written anything in a while] so getting him to write something is fantastic.” - via Variety
The twist with Spielberg’s frightening fable is that he wants to make sure that everyone (that doesn’t know how to set the time on their phone) can only watch the show when it is dark outside. The show appears once the evening dusk sets in and then dissipates into the ether once the sun rises.
Katzenberg’s explanation of forcing the show’s consumption at only specific times does mention programmers coding when the sun sets and when it rises again in multiple locations though, so perhaps the gimmick can’t be cheated.
Personally, I can watch a horror movie at any time of day, alone or with people around. Unless Spielberg got Quibi to code in Samara from The Ring climbing out of my iPhone, this isn’t going to enhance my viewing experience at all. People that need to have the sun out and all of the lights on to watch something frightening may find it a more harrowing experience, but will they even watch?
While the Spielberg stunt isn’t enough to get me interested in Quibi, Katzenberg also promised movies, “non-scripted” stuff, signature shows, and a news program of sorts. Hopefully, there will be more news about what the service has to offer before it launches next year because my interest is quite low right now.
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