Short-form video app Quibi gave a generous three-month free trial. Now analysts believe it will achieve less than 30% of its initial subscriber goal.
Quibi launched in April amid a global pandemic with a 90-day free trial for its service. Most services launch with a two-week or 30-day free trial, making Quibi’s trial quite generous. That trial period is up on July 5th, and analysts predict less than 30% of its original subscriber goal will be reached.
Quibi appears to be on pace to have fewer than two million paying subscribers by the end of 2020.
That’s only 27% of its original goal, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Quibi’s pitch was a hard sell among most mobile users who already complain of subscription fatigue. The Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman-led service hoped to pull attention away from streaming services like Netflix.
Quibi hopes to re-invent video for the mobile platform, with videos watchable in any orientation.
Episodes on Quibi are no longer than 10 minutes each – a structure designed to attract those with short attention spans or people who commute. But that reliance on commuter hours quickly ground to a halt when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and ‘work from home’ became the new mantra.
Despite launching in April, Quibi remains near the bottom of the App Store charts. YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram continue to maintain their dominance. Most people who have tried Quibi complain online about the lack of quality content.
“But it’s clear now that the company could have produced a better catalog of shows and movies, instead of placing so much emphasis on the app’s use cases and Turnstyle tech feature,” one reviewer writes.
Katzenberg has expressed frustration at Quibi’s growth. “I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus,” Katzenberg told the New York Times in a candid interview. “Everything.”