Meet Quibi, Netflix’s weirdest rival

by | May 14, 2020

Have you heard of Quibi? You may have seen the Super Bowl ad, but did you subscribe? Probably not. Quibi is off to a pretty rough start.

The streaming service, which offers mobile videos and series that are cut into segments shorter than 10 minutes, garnered some attention when it launched on April 6. But the payoff has been muted, and the service’s growth is slow, to say the least.

Quibi has roughly 1.3 million active users — a tiny base compared to more than 50 million Disney+ customers and 183 million Netflix users. And most of Quibi’s customers are in the 90-day free trial period.

  • After the trial, the service costs $4.99 a month with ads, and $7.99 a month without.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, Quibi’s founder, said he’s unhappy with the company’s results so far. “Is it the avalanche of people that we wanted and were going for out of launch?” he said. “The answer is no. It’s not up to what we wanted. It’s not close to what we wanted.” It’s not an avalanche…but it could snowball into something bigger.

Despite the difficult start, Mr. Katzenberg said he saw reasons for optimism. Once-daily life returns to normal, he believes, people will go back to using their phones in ways that prompted him and his investors to bet on Quibi in the first place.

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