One of the many criticisms leveled at the mobile-only video service Quibi when it launched was that the app didn't allow anyone to screenshot the videos. This meant that among other things, the restriction made it much more difficult for subscribers to share images from shows. And that sharing is one of the primary ways that any video service builds buzz. Combine the " no-screenshots" restriction with a block on sharing Quibi on a TV screen and the service was quickly being dunked on more frequently than the Washington Generals (yeah, I know it's an older reference. But it amuses me).
Quibi recently released an update to their app and one of the changes allows subscribers to take screenshots, albeit in a roundabout way. According to Quibi's Chief Product Officer Tom Conrad, direct screenshots are still prohibited due to the service's DRM (digital rights management) software, which is "preferred by our content creators."
But according to Conrad, Quibi engineers have put together a work-around which allows subscribers to capture a screenshot while still retaining the DRM:
"To grab a screenshot on Quibi, press-and-hold on any playing episode to reveal a menu. Slide your finger over to the screenshot icon to grab a still. Voila. Screenshot. "
It's a bit clunky, but it's still relatively straight-forward and I suspect it's pretty easy to do once you've tried it a few times. Although the downside is that according to Conrad, there are still a small number of shows where this method will also be blocked. I'd love to know which shows and the reasons why anyone who is hoping to have people watch their program would think restricting screenshots is the best move.