Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?
Yes, this website was built mostly just to rant about Quibi. If you haven't heard what Quibi is, it's a company that managed to raise 1.8 BILLION dollars before launching anything. They just launched on April 6, 2020 and, well... I was annoyed enough to make an entire website explaining how dumb it is Crazy Emoji .
Quibi is essentially trying to be the Netflix of mobile. But Netflix already is the Netflix of mobile, so we're off to a bad start... Quibi was started by two old(er) millionaires, so they definitely know what the kids are into these days. It's giving me an Apple TV+ vibe: Mostly rich, mostly older people saying, "We know what them millenials want! Let's throw x amount of dollars at it, and see what comes out the other end!" In Apple TV+'s case, they managed to produce a small number of rather (in my no way expert opinion) lame shows. But they wanted to make it seem like a hit, so they have (and still are) giving out a free ONE YEAR subscription if you buy any Apple device. Even with that they've only managed 33 million subscribers. That's fine for Apple though, because they have $200+ BILLION just sitting in their piggy bank. They can bankroll as many sub-par TV shows as they want for years to come, and not fall into financial peril.
Which brings us back to Quibi. Quibi isn't Apple. They have no other products. They don't have unlimited funding. They need to get profitable ASAP or they'll have to get more funding, or fold the business. And I'm betting on the whole thing going down in flames. First let's lay out the best possible scenario. All of Quibi's main competition has around 30 million subscribers. Netflix is in a league of their own with 167 million subscribers.
Company Subscribers Price
Hulu 28 Million $6 / $12
Disney+ 31 Million $7 / $13
Apple TV+ 33 Million $5
Netflix 167 Million $9 / $13 / $16
So the dream scenario for Quibi would be to get 30 million subscribers. I think that's really shooting for the stars, but let's just assume they manage. 30 million sign up for their free 90 day trial, and then they convert 100% of those users. It will still take Quibi almost a year before they even break even! And that's with some pretty generous assumptions. If they only manage 15 million subscribers, it would be 2 years before they make a penny. They're definitely going to have to raise more money, but I don't think anyone will want to touch them after initial subscriber numbers come out. Below is an interactive chart to imagine different scenarios. Feel free to play around with it and see how many millions of subscribers Quibi needs to break even!
Not Just The Money
It's not all just about the money. If Quibi had a really solid product, I wouldn't care half as much. If they had actually spent 1.8 BILLION dollars on something worthwhile, this website would not exist. Quibi should have built a magic app instead, because somehow they turned all that money into poop . The most egregious thing is that all videos default to portrait mode . Initially I thought all videos were ONLY in portrait mode, just like my parents like to shoot! There's no on-screen prompts or anything, but low and behold, if you accidentally rotate your phone, it'll show you the video in widescreen! I feel sorry for the poor souls that rotate-lock their phones, they'll never even know they could have enjoyed all their Quibis without so many insane face close-ups!
The second biggest issue: there's no casting! It would make more sense if everything was actually locked into portrait mode, because then casting wouldn't be much of an upgrade. But they actually have all the videos in widescreen! The entire world is on lock down, with access to very large, very capable televisions, but no, this is premium content meant to be watched only on your phone! Hopefully they'll come to their senses and fix this ASAP. It would probably take a day to implement, and there's no excuse for a video only app in 2020 not to have casting.
There's other things to rant about, but we'll end with just one more: there's zero back catalog. I think they missed streaming 101. The only reason people pay for streaming is if there's something to watch! Without content people will cancel their subscription faster than Yahoo goes bankrupt. Now it has been shown that killer shows can increase subscribers, but if there's nothing else they want to watch after that, people just leave. Imagine Disney+ only had the Mandalorian and Cats. After you've watched the Mandalorian twice, you're not going to keep paying every month to see the Cats banner on your screen. Lucky for Disney they've got a bajillion movies on there of every genre. Same goes for Netflix. Hulu focuses on TV shows and some movies, and are also owned by Disney, so their back catalog is huge. Apple TV+ is the only one without a wide depth of shows and we've already discussed how it doesn't really matter because Apple has more money than sense.
Quibi, on the other hand, has less than 50 shows (and a lot of those are nightly news type shows). From what I can see there's less than 10 actual "entertainment" shows, all with less than 10 episodes. And because Quibis are all under 10 minutes, you can watch all of those in 1,000 minutes! That's two binge sessions, or even just one with you're feeling extra adventurous. Although you probably won't be doing too much binging because, again, you have to watch everything ON YOUR PHONE! Maybe that was always part of the plan, to prevent people from watching literally everything they have to offer in 2 days...
The Cherry On Top
The most hilarious thing about all of this is that Quibi is offering people 3 months free right now. While they're in quarantine, with nowhere else to go. So if people do like a show, they will FOR SURE finish it during their free trial. And since there's absolutely no back catalog, why would you stick around? Did they not notice Netflix and Disney spending their millions on securing hundreds of shows to plump out their back catalog? Why did Quibi ever get this much money? These Venture Capitalist firms need to calm down. And so do I! That's it for now. Go do something nice for someone else and have a great day/month/2020!
Made by a totally normal, not stir crazy, unemployed person with lots of love . If this made you laugh or cry, or did absolutely nothing for you whatsoever, consider buying me a croissant . It would be better than buying a Quibi!