Quibi, we have a problem!
The year is 2020… ,Nike says ‘Don’t do it’ Adidas agrees with a retweet. #Mindblown
Two veteran executives decide to launch a streaming app in the middle of a pandemic, investing nearly $2 billion in cash and a huge roster of A-list celebrities creating content, it seems like a recipe for success. But four months later, the app has largely missed the mark, and EVERYONE agrees it is a bad idea.
What is Quibi? Quibi, short for ‘quick bites’, a mash-up of the words “quick” and “bites,” is a subscription-based streaming platform designed to deliver short-form scripted and unscripted content to your cell phone. With shows running for seven to ten minutes.
“You leave the house every morning with a little TV in your pocket. It’s called your smartphone,” Whitman said in 2018. “During the day, you have these in-between moments. Ten minutes here, 15 minutes there, where you want to see something great."
How much does it cost?
The app has two payment tiers: $4.99 with short ads, and $7.99 without them. This makes Quibi a big competitor of Apple TV+, also priced at $4.99 per month, and the likes of Netflix or Disney+, whose cheapest tiers are still not as cheap as $5.
Quibi Features Big Names and Hollywood Stars:
Zac Efron, Idris Elba, Kristen Bell, Chrissy Teigen, Kendall Jenner, Tyra Banks, Steph Curry, 50 Cent, and Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo all have original Quibi series.
Quibi was designed for millennials and as a millennial and an avid user of every streaming service known to man; Netflix, Hulu, Apple, Disney, HBO, Crave, Amazon Prime…the fatal miscalculation of Quibi is one that will go down in history.
According to Quibi, the platform had over 3.5 million downloads in its first month, yet just 1.3 million active users. This pales in comparison to some of its competitors — Disney+ received ten million downloads in its first 24 hours. — Netflix doubled its new subscribers in Q1 2020 to 15.8 million, almost entirely due to bored people stuck at home. Some would argue that this is the perfect time to release a new streaming platform, *Cough, cough* HBO Max
Note to self: Just because consumers like watching Netflix on their phones doesn’t mean the mere idea of watching content on their phone is exciting.
So, what went wrong?
Despite all the big names that have been involved with Quibi, like celebrities, shows, and directors that are contributing content to the platform, I still don’t get the problem Quibi was trying to solve, and in my humble opinion, there lies the problem. An app for your phone, an app for commuting, an app for in between meetings? What exactly are you trying to do, and who are you trying to do it for?
Quibi isn’t failing because of the coronavirus pandemic, lack of brand awareness or even poor content. It’s failing because the whole premise is based on an incorrect assumption about what consumers want. Whilst short form content might work for Tiktok or Youtube, it will not work when trying to create dramatic tension.
Note to self: Never underestimate your consumers.
They pulled binge-watching out of the crazy equation, and they say they are targeting millennials. Crazy cause millennials are renowned for binge-watching.
In a misguided effort to combat piracy and avoid spoilers, Quibi blocks users from taking screen shots of their content, making it near-impossible to create memes from the content. How are you going take my right to create memes! #HowSway!
Note to self : The whole point of social is to create.
Their two major competitors (TikTok and YouTube) are free, and Quibi can’t even attract viewers by claiming to be ad-free. It’s certainly poor timing that the world has been locked down, and has taken away viewing while commuting, but the fact that other streaming services are attracting record numbers of viewers while Quibi struggles points to bigger issues. In my humble opinion, there were strategic flaws from the beginning.
As the great Countess LuAnn once said, money can’t buy you class. It also couldn’t buy a hit show for Quibi.