QUIBI GAMBLES WITH MOBILE-ONLY STREAMING PLATFORM AMID COVID-19

Must establish identity as Canadians turn to news, familiar streamers amid pandemic: analyst

Chrissy Tiegen headlines Chrissy's Court, a comedic spin on reality courtroom shows, set to debut on new short-form streaming platform Quibi. Creators of the freshly minted subscription streaming platform had a tough sell on their hands even before the COVID-19 pandemic spiraled us into uncertain financial times. (Quibi/Canadian Press)

Creators of the freshly minted subscription streaming platform Quibi had a tough sell on their hands even before the COVID-19 pandemic spiralled us into uncertain financial times.

Placing bets on millennials buying into another streaming service, especially one built entirely on short-form content produced by Hollywood, seemed risky from the start for many industry observers. But as Monday’s launch date nears, some wonder if Quibi’s ambitious $2.48-billion bid to shake up the industry might land with a thud as potential subscribers focus on bigger hurdles in their lives.

“The timing could not be worse,” suggested Carmi Levy, a technology expert based in London, Ont. who watches the streaming industry.

“In the middle of a global pandemic, most consumers simply don’t have the bandwidth to consider taking on something new. Really all they’re looking for is comfort food in the form of binge-watching content on services they already know, love and are happily paying for.”

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