Streaming services might be big business, especially with cinemas currently out of action and people spending more time at home. For Quibi, the new streaming service that was going to be focused on mobile viewing and creating content that is bite-sized in nature, things haven’t been going so well since they launched last month. They may have had some initial interest, but it appears that people are not sticking around and using the app for too long and they haven’t really been able to turn much of their massive investment and expenditure into revenue at this point in time. Something that doesn’t bode well for its long term viability.
And while many obvious issues can be pointed to the nature of it’s content and perhaps the interest in short-episodic films not being as popular as they hoped for or the many issues they have had since launch, it appears that co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, speaking in a recent interview with The New York Times, has decided to place its current failure on Covid-19 rather than there being anything wrong with the strategy of the app or execution of the rollout.
However, the company hasn’t given up hope and instead, Katzenberg revealed a host of new features that they are looking to introduce to the streaming platform that they believe will change their fortunes. The first is a sharing function that will be built into the app that will enable people to upload content directly to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and TikTok to spread the news of their line-up and hopefully get more people to interact with the app.
In something which could be seen as a little bit of a dangerous move, the company is also building a feature in the app that will allow people to take screenshots of content within it. This is something which no other streaming service allows, for obvious copyright and content spoiler concerns, though it is technically possible in a variety of ways through outside tools. Having the app allow this directly is a different approach for people to be able to share Quibi content with friends and something which the company thinks will give it the edge in terms of social media sharing.
Another feature coming is the ability to stream shows and “movies-in-chapters” on TV screens. It’s not quite clear how this will work though and Katzenberg didn’t go into any further detail on how this will improve the overall viewing experience for Quibi users and attract more users.
Is there a future for Quibi in the competitive streaming platform? Only time will tell if people are willing to subscribe to Hollywood style short-content that might be a better fit for YouTube or Facebook Watch, or if they’d see it as a worthwhile diversion from the other big streaming services.
Last Updated: May 12, 2020