As if Snapchat made-for-mobile shows such as the Dead Girls Detective Agency, YouTube vlogs, Instagram stories, and endless Netflix episodes available in bite-size, 15-minute episodes aren’t enough to capture every spare minute of our mobile device watching time, we now have Quibi.
Quibi is a new video platform that can be watched on your smartphone in episodes about as long as an Uber ride. Its creators and investors are betting that there’s a market for Hollywood quality, original entertainment in short chapters under 10 minutes long.
Led by movie and technology moguls Jeff Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, Quibi aims to entertain and capture our nanosecond attention spans by producing films specifically for mobile consumption. With over $1 billion in investments from the likes of Disney and nine other major Hollywood studios, we may soon have A-list movies written, directed, and produced to be viewed on the “small screen.”
Well for me, an advocate of “long-form,” immersive, interactive, and deeply human live media, this is one more brain-altering attempt to shorten our attention spans and leave us with no time to think, look out the window, smell the roses, talk to a stranger, call a friend, or imagine what might be possible if every waking minute wasn’t vying for the next dose of dopamine drip from our mobile devices.
Last week, my screen time was down by 22% to 4 hours and 22 minutes per day. It’s said that we teach what we most want to learn. So, no preaching here, just a gentle warning to myself and maybe you as well that the stakes are getting higher.
The better the content, the more captivating the performers, the higher the quality of stories, the longer our batteries last, and the more our brains crave the immediate, the more destined we are to be ruled by the screen.
I, for one, will be hard-pressed not to watch a 10-minute episode delivered by Apple, starring Jennifer Lawrence, directed by Spielberg, and bankrolled by Amazon.
The stakes just got higher thanks to Quibi.
How will you resist? Do you want to? What was your average screen time last week?
For just the next five minutes, step away from your screen and see where you mind takes you.