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Start of the Quibi app: best or worst timing?

Quibi should never compete with Netflix or Disney Plus.

The novelty was a short form video for people waiting for coffee or the bus. The space Quibi wanted to use was the lost minutes of the day – the big streamers that were not the issue. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed Quibi's plans when it started on Monday April 6. The question was whether Hollywood icon Jeffrey Katzenberg and Silicon Valley giant Meg Whitman could offer a streaming service on the go.

Now Quibi has to compete on the couch.

This is another obstacle to Quibi's attempt to enter an already oversaturated market. This is both the best and the worst time to start a streaming service. People are hungry for new entertainment because they are told to stay indoors, and Quibi's free 90-day trial makes downloading and checking out another app ̵

1; another streaming service – less painful. Having daily episodes and videos is also a tempting offer compared to other streamers. Now is the perfect time to find an audience and demonstrate what Quibi has to offer.

( Disclosure: Vox Media, who owns The Verg e, has a contract with Quibi to produce a Polygon Daily Essential, and there were early discussions about a Verge Show .)

But it could also be harmful. Whitman doesn't see Quibi as stationary entertainment. She told MarketWatch in January that Quibi is not YouTube or Instagram, adding that Quibi is filling a niche that they are not filling. "We offer content on the go," said Whitman, which she and Katzenberg have repeated in the past few months. Quibi is said to be the streaming service for people who are in the subway, queuing up for a salad or waiting for friends to show up at a bar. It's what people are supposed to do in between, at $ 4.99, which is cheaper than almost any other streamer except Apple TV Plus.

Katzenberg and Whitman relied on filling the sporadic moments of the transition from one thing to the next with short-form content. But if those moments no longer exist, will Quibi still work? Is it something that people need or want?

"You'll see a big surge for three months because it's free for 90 days," predicts Carter Pilcher, CEO of Shorts TV and short video expert. "As soon as they start asking for $ 4.99, it'll be a hot potato. People will drop it. Netflix is ​​a must because there is entertainment all week. If you have a family, Disney + is what you have to have. Quibi, I'm struggling to find out why I have to have it. "

It's not all doom and darkness. Quibi has a lot to offer: an endless line of Hollywood talents that could attract the curious, and a game plan to keep the entertainment going over the next few months. There are shows by Chance the Rapper, Chrissy Teigen and Idris Elba; Films with Sophie Turner and Liam Hemsworth; and unusual comedies with actors such as Dave Franco, Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson. The production of some Quibi shows has been a success, much like the rest of the entertainment industry, but Katzenberg has made it clear in a number of interviews recently that he is confident that Quibi will weather the storm.

People may have more time than ever to sit around and watch things – a lot – but it will be these 90 days free Quibi service take to persuade people to stay and start paying. People lose their jobs every day. It is decided what is an essential purchase and what is not. Quibi is not Netflix, the standard streaming service for most households. More importantly, it's not YouTube.

"The main competition is also YouTube," says Raj Venkatesan, professor of economics at the University of Virginia, opposite The Verge . "Now that people are not working that much anymore, it’s not a good time to charge some kind of content that they can get for free elsewhere. At this point, you have to be cheap or free." 19659015] Quibi could imagine competing with YouTube, Instagram and TikTok for people's attention when they use their phones all day, but Katzenberg and Whitman are trying to market their app to subscribers to get high quality television and on the go What Quibi needs is a Game of Thrones or a Mandalorian who keeps people up to date and subscribes if the promise of content is not what is actually delivered , people will go.

"Content is king maker, but today clear, platform is the king King, ”Katzenberg told CNBC in 2019 .

"If it's so expensive, it has to be something really unique or incredible that people have to sign up for," says Pilcher. "These people spend a lot of money, but I'm not sure they are spending it correctly. I don't think that's the case."

Although Quibi is overseen by Katzenberg and Whitman and $ 2 billion Quibi is an outsider, not just about Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Peacock, but also about social platforms with hundreds of millions of active users every day – without real identity, library content or remarkable franchise companies they can rely on. Quibi has always been a risky experiment. Now it has to prove that it is still important to see something if its original thesis has been undermined by an event on the go by an event outside is under someone's control.

This is not the world Quibi wanted to prepare for, but it is the world it is in. Whether Quibi has some attention from TikTok or r Distracting Netflix is ​​in the air, but Katzenberg and Whitman will find out soon enough if your big plan for streaming on the go works when people can't be anywhere.

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