Quibi is running out of time to sway initial users

Following the news that Quibi has started providing Apple AirPlay support for casting to TVs;

Tammy Parker, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on Quibi’s evolving strategy:

“Because the 90-day free trials that Quibi offered when it launched in April will start expiring in July, the company urgently needs to remedy missteps made in its initial mobile-only streaming service introduction – the main one being a lack of casting from phones to TVs for content viewing on bigger screens. Providing support for Apple’s AirPlay in Quibi 1.3 is a significant improvement, as iPhone users can now cast Quibi videos to their Apple TV and compatible smart TVs.

“However, Quibi’s follow-on initiative to support Google’s Chromecast next month, opening up casting from Android phones to TVs, will have broader impact and needs to happen sooner rather than later. Jeffrey Katzenberg’s company is running out of time to convince its first trial users that Quibi is a must-see, must-have streaming service before they churn off at the end of their free trials. Given the current economic environment and Quibi’s limited content library, the company will be challenged to convert trial users into paying customers willing to spend $4.99 per month on its ad-supported service or $7.99 per month on the ad-free option.

“It is commendable that Quibi has heard the critiques of its platform and is moving aggressively to make changes. Unfortunately, the company’s early oversights were compounded by COVID-19 lockdowns that kept people at home. Reprioritizing casting as an essential feature in light of COVID-19’s impact on daily routines is essential to Quibi’s immediate and future prospects as it becomes a mobile-first, rather than mobile-only, service. 

“Even after its initial trials for the general public start wrapping up, Quibi’s ad-supported version will still be included on certain T-Mobile multiline plans, alongside Netflix. However, eligible T-Mobile customers need to register on or before July 7 to get Quibi for free – again heightening the urgency for Quibi to enable casting to TVs to drive sign-ups. After a year of service, those T-Mobile customers will need to choose between keeping Quibi or Netflix as a free inclusion on their service plan. Quibi is far from proving that it has the goods to convince T-Mobile customers to stay with it instead of Netflix in a year’s time.” 

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