Quibi’s slow uptake is disappointing after promising start

Following the recent news that Quibi, a new Hollywood-backed short-form video app, has dropped out of the top 40 list of free apps on Apple’s US app store after just a week;

Danyaal Rashid, Thematic Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the challenge COVID-19 poses to Quibi:

“Quibi appeared to be off to a flying start with 1.7 million downloads in its first week, but today it sits well outside of the top 40 free iPhone apps on the US app store. This is particularly disappointing considering the amount of spare time users under lockdown have to use entertainment apps.

“Much of the blame for slow uptake of Quibi can be attributed to COVID-19. Quibi has marketed itself as a companion for the ‘ten-minute gaps’ that people have throughout a normal day – perhaps on a commute or waiting in line for lunch. However, amid a pandemic and global lockdowns, things are far from ‘normal’ and people are just not experiencing these ‘moments’.

“Furthermore, Quibi is mobile-only and people at home are less likely to watch videos on their phones rather than on a full-size TV, and the service does not offer a tablet-optimized version. The app’s limitations do not end there. There is no option to add multiple profiles, meaning the app is exclusively for one viewer, which makes its $7.99 a month price tag seem even steeper.

“Quibi’s main competitor is social media, rather than other streaming apps. Again, timing seems to be Quibi’s downfall here. People are using this lockdown to capitalise on the creativity and connection they can glean from social media apps, while Quibi offers only curated content. TikTok is looking to add 10,000 staff following a surge in demand due to COVID-19, while Quibi is left scrabbling for a foothold.”

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