Netflix rival Quibi readies US launch - Mobile World Live

Netflix rival Quibi readies US launch

09 JAN 2020

Start-up Quibi plotted its entry to the crowded US video streaming market, aiming to rival Netflix with a mobile-only service featuring short videos which seamlessly switch from portrait to landscape.

The streaming service was unveiled at CES 2020 in Las Vegas by founder Jeffrey Katzenberg (pictured), a former chairman of Walt Disney Studios, and co-founder and CEO of Dreamworks Animation. Meg Whitman, CEO of HP between 2011 and 2015, is the chief of the new venture.

Quibi is due to launch on 6 April, charging customers $5 per month for an advert supported version and $8 for an ad free option. Whitman said its 2020 advertising allocation had sold out, raising $150 million, and the company had agreed a deal with T-Mobile US to bundle Quibi.

The service will offer videos and news bulletins of between four minutes and ten minutes, with smartphone features employed to make the videos interactive, for example cameras, touchscreen and gyroscope.

In a presentation Katzenberg explained the company chose to go mobile-only because phones “are the most widely distributed, democratised entertainment platform the world has ever seen”, with “billions of users watching billions of hours of content every single day”.

Since being founded in 2018 Quibi raised around $1.4 billion from investors including The Walt Disney Company, JP Morgan, Liberty Global and Viacom.

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Manny Pham

Manny joined Mobile World Live in September 2019 as a reporter based in London. He has previous experience in telecoms having worked for B2B publication Mobile News for three years where he climbed up to the position of Features Editor....

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