How Mubi became a haven for film lovers

Mubi has transcended its beginnings as a streaming platform by investing in touchpoints long proclaimed dead – from print media to cinemas. We hear how design has underpinned its growth

The streaming space is a cluttered landscape. Look around and you’ll see that very few services actually have a USP – only IP. Over the past five years or so, studio conglomerates have transplanted the content they or their subsidiaries own onto (often painful to use) inter­faces, all of which are virtually indistinguishable from each other.

Since it was founded by Efe Cakarel in 2007, Mubi has happily navigated its own path through the streaming age, with an emphasis on independent and arthouse cinema from around the world, and a quality over quantity ethos. However, creative director Pablo Martin is quick to explain that the brand isn’t just about video on demand.

“I remember when I joined, we used to say we were a streaming platform, and then soon after we were not talking about it like that. We’re not a streaming platform,” says Martin. “We like the word ‘ecosystem’.” ­Mubi’s online ‘about’ page paints a picture of what this entails: “A streaming service? A curator? A publisher? A distributor? A cinema lover? Yes.”

Top: Mubi promotional poster featuring stills from Paris, Texas; Above: Theatrical artwork for Aftersun, courtesy Mubi and Intermission