Demand for online entertainment is soaring

What better time to start a new streaming service than in the middle of a global crisis that has forced millions of people to hunker down at home? Quibi, from Jeffrey Katzenberg and former eBay boss Meg Whitman, is due to launch on April 6. Demand for online entertainment is soaring. But what use are “quick bite” five to 10-minute videos for people on the go when no one is going anywhere? This is not a situation that anyone could have foreseen. But Quibi’s second problem is of its own making. At $4.99, its cheapest payment option is more affordable than Netflix but the same monthly price as Apple TV+, which offers long TV series without advertising and is free for one year with the purchase of Apple hardware… Quibi lacks the name recognition that Apple and Disney boast. It is also unlikely to rival either service on popular shows… Of all the streaming services, Netflix remains the one to beat. In the last reported quarter it added 8.8 million paying subscribers… Quibi is well funded — with a reported $1.75 billion to spend. It may even have a monster show up its sleeve that becomes required viewing. But isolated viewers stuck at home want escapism. Ten minutes is not long enough.