When Jeffrey Katzenberg pitched his idea for bringing high-caliber entertainment to mobile phones to billionaire Meg Whitman, one of the most powerful women in the world according to Forbes, the idea checked all her boxes: The potential market for the service was huge, prevailing trends were right, and it occupied a unique niche.
“I ultimately said, ‘You know what? I think I have another startup in me,’ ” says Whitman, 63, who first got rich (she’s worth $3.2 billion) working with another visionary founder, Pierre Omidyar. She helped build eBay from 30 employees and $4 million in revenue when she joined in 1998 to more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion in revenue when she left a decade later.
Many in Hollywood think it’s a terrible idea. At a time when viewers are awash in entertainment options, many of them free, who is going to pay for another? Barry Diller, perhaps the greatest Hollywood visionary of his generation, recently called Quibi a “gutsy speculation” for his former protégé (Katzenberg, 69, worked for Diller at Paramount in the ’70s). “He’s so naked out there with this.”
Quibi (an awkward portmanteau of quick and bites) launched its mobile streaming service offering original movies, reality TV, comedies and news edited into bite-size nuggets of ten minutes or less, optimized for viewing on phones in early April 2020 amid the global coronavirus pandemic. America’s lockdown might have created the perfect moment for Quibi. Nielsen projects media viewing will spike by as much as 60% due to COVID-19. People will certainly know it’s available: Quibi is spending a gargantuan $400 million to promote its new service and in mid-March announced that it will offer the service free for three months.
Read the full profile on Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/dawnchmielewski/2020/04/03/coronavirus-lockdown-will-boost-jeff-katzenbergs-and-meg-whitmans-new-mobile-streaming-service-quibi/#5b175fcf55c3
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