Quibi offered something no one wanted

Following the news that streaming service Quibi is shutting down;

Tammy Parker, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on the service’s missteps:

Quibi is the quintessential financial black hole, which is something founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman finally accepted. What is curious is how long it took for them to acknowledge this, because the rate at which Quibi burned through capital was staggering.

Quibi’s premise as a mobile-only, celebrity-driven, short-form programming service was questionable from the start as the cellular industry is littered with similar efforts that crashed and burned. The drawbacks of this business model were certainly exacerbated by Quibi’s launch during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession, but even in a non-pandemic world Quibi would have struggled to gain a paying audience. Quibi made some major pivots after its launch, such as enabling casting to televisions, but it was still not delivering a user experience that the mass market – particularly the young adults it targeted – was willing to pay for. Even Quibi’s offer of a free ad-supported tier in Australia and New Zealand failed to gain traction, meaning Quibi wasn’t even able to give its service away.

“Some of Quibi’s content might find homes elsewhere, partially because there is a dearth of available new content due to COVID-19. However, very little of Quibi’s programming would be considered a must-see. Ultimately, Quibi was a service for which there was simply no demand.”

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