Digital Trend Alert
Quibi: it's all about the mobile streaming video market
by Carol Ingley
President, Media Mogul Enterprises
Week of July 1, 2019 through Week of July 29, 2019
Something Cool. “Something cool is coming from Hollywood and Silicon Valley — quick bites of captivating entertainment, created for mobile by the best talent, designed to fit perfectly into any moment of your day.” So says the Quibi website. And it does, indeed, sound cool. No other company is occupying exclusively the subscriber professionally-made short-clip market that Quibi is aiming for.
More or Less. As the website indicates, Quibi is a streaming video service for mobile. But Quibi is more than that. Or less than that, depending on your point of view. It’s less because it’s all about quick bites of streaming video that take only a few minutes to watch.
It’s more because Quibi has the opportunity to carve out a unique niche in the streaming video marketplace – and that niche happens to widen the ecosystem of the major players in Hollywood specifically and the entertainment industry in general. So Hollywood, as do many others in the entertainment industry, wants in.
Although not exactly the same model, Facebook Watch and YouTube Premium do have some of their content that is similar to Quibi. Yet, there’s a hint of danger in occupying a relatively new market niche exclusively, even if the overall streaming video arena is a dynamic and growing business model. That’s because no one quite knows how big this new niche is but there’s plenty of excitement to go around way before its launch date of April 2020.
Jess Ostroff, managing editor at Convince & Convert says tellingly, “Video content is the now, but short-form video content is the future.”
Growth indicators. You can’t help but pick up on this excitement when Jeffrey Katzenberg, founder of Quibi (and of Disney and DreamWorks Animation fame) and partner Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi (and former CEO of eBay), are interviewed together.
In speaking about the market indicators for Quibi, Katzenberg says: “In 2017, the average user in our demographic [ages 25-35] watched 38 ½ minutes a day of short form video on a mobile device. This year, in 2018, it passed 60 minutes. Think about it – people are doing more and more of what we are setting out to do. They’re watching more and more. We’re not fighting a trend. We’re literally diving right into [one].”
Subscriber Fees. The plan is to roll-out the service with two payment tiers: $4.99 with short ads and $7.99 without them. While it’s cheaper than Netflix and many other streaming services, it is not cheaper than free. And free is what Facebook Watch and YouTube offer. Quibi plans to have 7,000 pieces of content available its first year online. But that has to compete with YouTube’s numbers – almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day.
Major Players. It’s not who’s involved with Quibi, it’s who isn’t! Quibi has managed to get many big names into its fold, including Tyra Banks, Steven Spielberg and Don Cheadle. Big corporations such as Disney and Viacom have made large investments.
New and Different. Still, Quibi is new and different, fearlessly walking into uncharted territory. It will be thrilling to watch how it all plays out
Digital Trend Alert