In April, we discussed Quibi’s debut despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The streaming app made for on-the-go didn’t seem to fit in the current stay-at-home world. Despite it all, founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman felt there was a need to escape to “quick bites” of content, and were felt the app’s launch would still have success.
Since it’s debut, Quibi drew 4.5 million downloads and 1.6 million subscribers (in an effort to attract more people, Quibi offered the first few months free). These numbers were well below initial targets. Katzenberg remains strong in his position that Quibi will rebound in the latter half of 2020. He stated COVID-19 is “a little bit of a cement wall that we ran into.”
Katzenberg actually views this a “silver-lining” and has given the company a unique opportunity. “It’s actually given us the opportunity to have almost a beta. … In nine weeks, we have actually now seen so many aspects of the content, about what is working for them, what is most appealing to them, where our weaknesses are. All of that is being retooled as we talk here right now. We’re leaning in twice as hard on things that are working the best and leaning away from the things that are not.”
This allows them the chance to run with what works best, and steer away from what people don’t respond to.
As many states across the country enter phases to reopen, more and more people will be on the go to work, haircuts, doctor’s appointments and more and will find themselves with more “in-between moments” to fill. Katzenberg hopes Quibi will provide the right amount of entertainment to fill these waiting periods.
Katzenberg further states that Quibi is not “competing for your time in a living room.” Quibi does not need “prime-time viewers, only people watching short-form video between 7AM and 7PM.” The content meets the needs of viewers and brings the right content to them during their day between errands. Only time will tell as we open up more and more, and the need to fill “in-between moments” grows.