Quibi

APEX Media attended the Quibi keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Pictured: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Quibi founder. Image via CES

The current global pandemic has not stopped Quibi, a highly anticipated mobile streaming platform, to go forth with its launch today. Branding.aero founder and president Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis sees a lot of potential for the platform in the aviation industry, including lifestyle content from airlines.

A multimillion-dollar ad campaign and big-name studio investors (think Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Warner Media even Alibaba Group) are turning “Quibi” – a portmanteau for quick bites – into a household term to describe short, under-10-minute videos. Optimized for people on the go, emerging content platform Quibi is designed for viewing on mobile devices and offers episodic content from Hollywood A-listers like Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Guillermo del Toro and more.

The brainchild of producer Jeffrey Katzenberg (Shrek, Shark Tale and The Contender) and former eBay and Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman, Quibi launched today and expects to release 170-plus new shows in its first year.

Perhaps the most brilliant aspect of the platform is how it seamlessly marries form and function –every title will be a made-for-Quibi original delivered using its signature Turnstyle mobile viewing technology, which enables content to transition seamlessly between landscape and portrait modes. Creators upload two video files and one audio file so the right version kicks in when the phone is rotated. Quibi could also potentially make a phone’s text messaging, time zone and vibrate or ring capabilities part of the story: Spielberg’s After Dark series, for example, is only viewable on a user’s mobile device from sundown to sunrise.

“Airlines partner with Quibi to create content that would only activate once users are in the airport terminal.” – Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis, Branding.aero

Branding.aero founder and president Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis said this could have a huge impact on the passenger experience. “The possibilities and opportunities are endless,” he said. Not only could airlines partner with Quibi to create content that would only activate once users are in the airport terminal or on board the plane, but they “could use Quibi to develop their own channels, content and series that project a specific lifestyle that further strengthens their brands,” he added.

Subir Arora, general manager of Content Acquisitions and Account Management at content service provider Aeroplay Entertainment, said Quibi’s snackable format suits passengers waiting at the boarding gate or lounge especially well. “It is a great addition for passengers looking to watch short video content on the move,” Arora said. “However, I don’t think Quibi is an alternative to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or even the in-flight entertainment content available on airlines just yet.” Quibi is expected to release three hours of original content per day. Even with the coronavirus outbreak throwing a monkey wrench in some production plans, Katzenberg said their partners have been “very entrepreneurial” and he expects they will deliver with minimal setbacks.

Productions will be released in three tiers:

  • Lighthouse: Star-studded features delivered over the span of multiple episodes
  • Quick Bites: Mid-tier productions
  • Daily Essentials: News-focused content including from NBC, BBC and TMZ