Home Entertainment Quibi will be coming to TV after a poor first week

Quibi will be coming to TV after a poor first week

2 min read

Would you rather watch short content on your mobile phone or something a little lengthier on your TV? That’s the belief that Quibi had in choosing to create a streaming service that focused on short 10-15-minute episodic content in a bid to become the Netflix of mobile devices. Except only it turns out that things are not quite going according to plan for them.

While you might think that anyone choosing to release a new streaming service while most of the world is in some form of lockdown is rather fortuitous, it appears that Quibi’s focus on smartphones has so far not been a positive one for them. According to /Film, the streaming service only achieved 300 000 downloads on its first day – which although not terrible, is far below expectations – and ended up with only around 1.7 million downloads within the first week, with only 80% of those users actually watching a show from beginning to end. Keep in mind that these users are all simply opting in for the trial period and have not chosen to subscribe yet, so who knows how many of these users will remain financially committed to the platform. Considering that Quibi was started with a $2 billion investment, it has a lot to make up before it can even get close to offering any form of return on that investment over the next few years.

Rather than seeing their content as the biggest challenge, the company is instead deciding to ramp up its release on TVs sooner. So far the service is only available via apps on mobile phones and even if people are using Apple TV or Chromecast devices, the content is still not available on a big screen.

As for whether COVID-19 had any impact on the release with people actually at home in front of their TVs currently rather than on the go all the time, co-creator Meg Whitman revealed in an interview with CNBC that she doesn’t think so while also revealing that TV was always part of their plan and they just want to escalate this planned rollout on other platforms.

Personally, I think the issue with Quibi lies in the belief that people would rather be drawn to watching content in small doses. While people are no doubt busier and frequently on the go, often you don’t really have time to give full attention to an episode when you’re on the clock and most people prefer to binge-watch something while feeling more relaxed. Also, as for the mobile format, people have no issues watching Netflix content from their mobile devices either, so it’s definitely not just a platform thing. I do think shorter content has potential as a diversion from traditional series rather than an exclusive strategy. I guess time will tell exactly how successful Quibi will be. It could still be the next big thing or a waste of many investor’s time and money.

Last Updated: April 14, 2020

One Comment

  1. MaSeKind

    April 14, 2020 at 12:50

    I think part of the problem is they assume that the kids with their TikToks and Snaps can sustain something like this. Also they tend to grow up eventually and start appreciating longform stories more. I would probably have enjoyed the TikTok like media 10 years ago, but I’ve grown up since then (yes that’s probably debatable)


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