former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is running a penny bids (Quibi) site?

I can’t see how this will succeed.

Nope. She’s doing Quibi, not Quibids.

Personally I don’t see how Quibi works, but who knows? I didn’t think much of TikTok either.

The difference is that TikTok is powered by users, and Quibi is powered by…celebrities who want to make short content in portrait mode to be consumed only on phones. I thought that was called YouTube, but hey, let’s see.

I think it’ll be dead in a year.

What a stupid name. Like Qwikster and Quixstar.

Haven’t Tumblr and Grindr taught us anything? It should be “Qwikstr”!

Quibi’s entire USP is video that can be switched between landscape and portrait. I can’t even begin to see how that’s enough to sustain a service, but then I don’t understand young people.

I like the idea of a portrait cut because occasionally I am watching a bit of Netflix and holding my phone that way. I don’t think it’s such a problem that I’ll switch to completely different shows. That’s the weird part. Seems like someone became fixated on a software patent they own and saw it as a business and not a feature.

I also think it’s really weird how stodgy the leadership is at this company. Meg Whitman probably doesn’t know how to run a small team which is why they’re burning so much money over-engineering a product with no revenue.

Yeah, I definitely don’t understand Kids Today™, but I find it hard to believe that Meg Whitman and Jeff Katzenberg do, or that even if they did, kids would respond to their obviously super corporate attempt to engage them.

They are the very definition of the boardroom exec who exclaims “let’s just make a viral video!”

Joy? Really? How did they hoodwink investors to the tune of $1 billion?

Venture capitalists with FOMO

Well, as Charlatan points out, I’m sure FOMO is a big part of it. But Katzenberg is a super smart guy. He was the one who basically invented the home video market when he was at Disney. Michael Eisner famously didn’t believe he could do it, so he wrote him a contract that gave him a pretty decent percentage of sales, and after a lawsuit or two, Katzenberg walked away with a couple billion dollars and started Dreamworks SKG with the other principals.

I suppose if you throw enough money at enough ideas, one of them might get hit out of the park.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t do well, but I’m tentatively optimistic.

The main selling point isn’t aspect ratio, it’s length of episodes. Specifically shows and movies which tell long-form stories, but split into episodes which are each 10 minutes or less.

When I’m on my bus commute in the morning, usually I don’t feel like watching half of a 45-60-minute episode. But I could easily fit 1-2 episodes in if they’re under 10 minutes each. And since the talent Quibi is recruiting is pretty top notch, maybe they’ll product some stuff that’s decent.

So, it’s about launch time for this Quibi thing. Officially launches April 6.

Hulu has had a bunch of ads for it already, and presumably other platforms that I don’t watch.

Looks like it’ll last at least the three months, since they’ll then need to see how many people stick with it and pay.

Nope. Not interested.
I need my tv for video. The phone is for chatting / podcasts / maps!

The ad blitz on Twitch is real. The way the ads present themselves I though this thing was already available!

I have zero interest in yet another streaming platform.

Got the “pre-order” notification from the App Store and checked out Quibi. The signup process is slick and reassuring; I’m sure researching and testing that ate a lot of the billion dollar fundraise.

The portrait/landscape editing choices are legitimately artistic in places, especially when portrait is used to closely frame a face or to show two shots at once. It’s too bad we can’t watch them on a larger screen simultaneously.

The content is…quick, I guess? The documentaries seem like they should just be one 45-90 minute movie but some of the other content feels legitimately written for 7-8 minute segments and not arbitrarily broken up. The news and talk shows seem more promising, especially if the BBC program turns out to be good. So far my favorites are the LeBron school documentary and the Liam Hemsworth/Christoph Waltz thriller. There’s a lot of content targeted at people who follow pop culture more closely than I do (TMZ, Ru Paul spinoff, Judge Chrissy Tiegen) so I assume as more shows are released, not a ton of them will appeal to me.

So subscribing seems unlikely, but it’s an opinionated, innovative service. That’s cool.

The impressions I’ve seen on twitter from TV critics make it sound like a 2 billion dollar wet fart.

Knowing the whole Internet is primed to dump all over it made me a bit nervous to review it without reading what anyone else thought first. But that’s what makes my review so good! :p

This seems like a particularly terrible time to launch a service focused for “on the go” viewing. Quibi doesn’t want to compete with at-home services like Hulu and Netflix, but now it has to.