For years video streaming apps have been consuming our lives and even more so in the wake of our current world crisis. So you’d be forgiven for thinking the last thing we need is another streaming service, but you’d be wrong, at least that’s what the Jeff Katzenberg would tell you as he launches his Mobile Video App “Quibi” to compete with the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime.
So firstly, what is Quibi?
Quibi, short for ‘Quick Bites’ is a mobile app hosting a wide range of original short-form movies and shows including: docos, comedies, scripted series, news, reality shows etc. Launched by the brilliant mind of Jeffrey Katzenberg, a well renowned innovator in Hollywood-land, but most commonly known for starting (and selling) a company most commonly known as “DreamWorks,” Quibi has already landed programme deals with several big-name producers and celebrities such as Spielberg, Del Toro and J-Lo. Having launched in early April there is an initial two-tier pricing strategy for users looking to sign-up. $4.99 with ads, $7.99 without – and this is where things get interesting, but more about this later.
What makes Quibi different?
The jury is still out on whether Quibi is going to be a success or not but admittedly what they have done well is create a niche, clearly defined product. Firstly, the streaming service consists of only programmes that are 10 minutes or less in length and only available on your phone, hence the term Quick-Bites. As well as the original content that’s being published, it will also come in the usual horizontal format as well as vertical with an ability to seamlessly flip between the two, as well as between shows.
Your first thought may be “ah yes, people have shorter attention spans, and on various commutes, short videos with less commitment requirements make sense”. But it runs deeper than that, Quibi’s proposition in the market not only points to mobile-first consumer content but also to “the moment of next” marketing. As people scroll through their social feeds, news articles, conversations, they are always looking for what is next – where else can I go?
The Moment of Next
With so much power, control and content at our fingertips it has never been more difficult, yet rewarding, to capture and maintain people’s attention. All streaming and social platforms have adapted their content and functionality to target the “Moment of Next” but few have it as their core value proposition. So how have brands adapted? Well Facebook and Instagram have their scrollable news feeds and ability to flick through people’s stories with a simple tap. Youtube has suggestions of next videos to watch and even automatically plays the next video after 10 seconds. Then there are native content discovery platforms such as Taboola and Outbrain powering the suggested pieces of content that appear after you have just read a news article.
Quibi offers users the chance to effortlessly flip between entertainment just as they would when viewing 5 second Insta stories, and this is where their value offering differs from other streaming services. It may not – consciously – be the most important factor when choosing a streaming service, but it is something that hasn’t been at the core of other services.
Can you advertise on Quibi?
Yes and no. Quibi sold out the platform’s first year’s worth of inventory in advance to 10 companies including Google, P&G and Pepsi so if you’re not one of the intitial advertisers you’re going to have to wait a while
Ads on Quibi will be Non-Skippable 6”, 10” and 15” pre-roll and will only show before content. Which is – from a consumer’s perspective – an improvement on the mid-video ads that can occur on Youtube, but then Youtube is free. Earlier this year Quibi announced they will run 2-3 minutes of advertising for every 1 hour of video which is lower than the ads that run on television, and when you consider that people pay $8 a month for their Spotify, $4.99 doesn’t seem so bad. A defined product for sure, and a decent monetisation strategy, but with brand new content that doesn’t have any followers and with so much content already available on mobile only time will tell if Quibi is to take Australia and the world by storm.