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Quibi, the streaming service with short-form video, launches Monday

The idea behind Quibi was for it to be a place to watch short-form, Hollywood produced entertainment in those “in-between moments,” like commuting, waiting in a doctor’s office or during lunch hour. 

But Monday, when the service from former Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and eBay CEO Meg Whitman launched, it’s in a different world than first envisioned.

Is a pandemic the right time for Quibi – which stands for Quick Bites? 

“We thought a lot about this: Can we launch now?” Whitman says. Techwise, they have the staff to run it remotely, and productionwise, they have enough programming to last into the fall.

And since the mission is to entertain, the decision was made, why delay the launch? The one change was a new offering, for the time: a 90-day free trial. From there, the monthly subscription is $4.99 with ads, or $7.99 ad-free. You can see Quibi only on your phone, not on TVs via Roku, Amazon Prime or any other streaming players. 

“People are at home, running their businesses, home-schooling their kids, but there’s always in-between time,” she adds. “Our original-use case was in-between moments. Except now, instead of waiting for the class to start, it’s waiting for the next Zoom call.”

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