Jamie is impressed with the design of the app and, in particular, its Turnstyle tech which optimises content for both vertical and horizontal viewing. But it is not perfect. “The inability to multitask could be a problem for on-the-go users, if they can’t keep audio playing when they have to switch between apps.”

He added “It’s big-budget, traditional programming but in a mobile-only context. It’s not competing for the television set. Whether users stick is another matter. Being new and mobile-first might be its differentiator for the moment, but without hits that could ultimately count for little.”

Tom said that while the pandemic had driven an upsurge in daytime TV viewing in the UK, especially around news, families are watching primarily on the big-screen TV, while Quibi is available only on mobile. “I don’t see the evidence for [demand for] this gap” between YouTube-style short clips and traditional TV shows.

He added “People have done short-form services before, but not at this level or quality. Quibi is trying to do something quite different. They won’t know whether it works for some time . . . and by then they’ve already thrown away hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investment in content.”

James said “They have to agree player wage reductions; that has to occur. But if the agreed temporary wage reductions are not adequate, there could be problems.”

He added “If the reductions aren’t sufficient but they are in other big football clubs and other big leagues in the world, then the only other option to avert bankruptcy for many Premier League clubs will be to sell their players,” 

James said "Those data caps were legacy tariffs. Broadly speaking, they are not really a factor in the vast majority of the market at the moment. I don't think they'll be coming back."
 

He added "What broadband operators are trying to do is to have a realistic, proportionate and achievable level of response. The imperative is to keep these networks going so that they can provide resilience to their customers."

The third idea is of Netflix sufficiency, and if that sounds vague it is illustrative of the vague pronouncements of government spokespeople, from Boris Johnson down. As Claire Enders of Enders Analysis, and a host of other industry and academic voices have made clear, the comparison between the BBC and Netflix is spurious. Netflix is a heavily debt-laden commercial enterprise pursuing first-mover advantage. While Netflix excels in certain categories of filmed entertainment and original programme investment, its services come nowhere near the range of the BBC in news, local content, or cultural specificity. Most importantly, Netflix would not have the capacity to offer anything approaching such a range under its current governance and business model.

James said "What has mostly happened so far is an increase in broadband usage during the day. So there are a lot more gigabytes going over the network, but they are doing so when the network wasn't busy, which makes it broadly manageable. I'm fairly confident that providers will be able to deal with this trend."

He added  "Providers have never seen anything like this before. They know how to increase capacity because capacity has been growing 30-40% a year over the past ten years. But growing 30-40% a month will be more challenging."

Tom said “The Simpsons is a more Hulu show than it is a Disney+ show, but they needed that because they needed to grow scale. When it first launched, it was an antidote to Disney, in that it was the first real cartoon hit not explicitly for children."

He added “Netflix is different in that they make something for everybody. Netflix doesn't worry that much about its brand outside of providing entertainment, they're not gatekeepers of some sort of morality or anything like that, which, in the case of Disney, has built up a reputation.”