Jeffrey Katzenberg insists that his new video-streaming service Quibi isn’t competing against Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, or any of the other streaming services that have launched or are launching soon. You’ve got it all wrong. You’re not even asking the right questions.
“We don’t think we’re in the streaming wars,” Katzenberg, the former boss of Walt Disney Studios and founder of DreamWorks, tells The Verge in a closed-door meeting the day before the company’s grand reveal at a CES keynote. “They’re all battling for this,” he says as he thrusts his arm toward a TV in the room. “We’re going for this,” he says, gesturing toward his phone. “Don’t tell them!”
Katzenberg and Quibi CEO Meg Whitman, who is best known as the CEO of HP and eBay, are publicly announcing Quibi at CES — but not quite unveiling it — after having raised $1 billion on the promise of a roster of Hollywood stars and supposedly revolutionary video-streaming technology that delivers portrait and landscape video at the same time. Everything on Quibi is designed for viewing on a phone, on the go, in 10 minutes or less. These chunks of video are called “quick bites” — hence, “Quibi.”
I predict this will flame out inside two years.