Quibi Launches New Mobile Video Format, Turnstyle

Video streaming company Quibi recently unveiled its new video format which allows users to shift from landscape to portrait viewing without any hitch. Axios reported that the patent-pending new format enabled users of the streaming app to watch the same videos “from slightly different perspectives.”

In other words, Turnstyle eliminates the need to see black bars around videos users watch using Quibi, said Endgadget. This applies regardless of whether users watch through vertical or horizontal viewing modes. The new format also removes the need for the video player to force a single viewing mode, which usually occurs in footage shot in very wide angles.

Chief product officer Tom Conrad explained how the seamless transition works. According to him, video producers shoot scenes using two lenses: one landscape and one portrait. In some cases, creators capture wide shots, which are cropped to create a vertical format.

Quibi New Mobile Video Format

After shooting, the producers give the two footages to Quibi. The company then “stitches” together to create a Turnstyle format. Quibi chief technology officer Rob Post said, “We use a single audio track between them so there are no audio problems and then we do encoding and Packaging. We get it down to delivery on the phone.”

The new format is expected to create a significant distinction between Quibi and other platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat. The company, which is set to launch a streaming service, aims to become a “distribution vehicle for high-end mobile video content produced by Hollywood studios.”

In order to test the format, the firm worked with Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro, said EndGadget. According to founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, the company has curated a playbook “based on the first year of some of the best filmmakers.” Joining the ranks of Spielberg and del Toro are Doug Liman (of The Bourne Identity fame) and Catherine Hardwich (of Twilight fame). Katzenberg said that these filmmakers are treated as pioneers.

Hardwick, one of the filmmakers who are directing and producing a show for the platform, said that watching in vertical mode offers an intimate experience. She described the shot as being “quite closer” without the cinema-scope. She also said that the landscape offers an opportunity to feel the environment more.

Meanwhile, CEO Meg Whitman said that 25 shows will be available on the app upon release in April. It will be using meta-tags and machine learning to provide personalized lists for users.