Despite a massive marketing push, lengthy free trials and high-profile partnerships, Quibi has only attracted a relatively small audience one month after its launch.
According to the New York Times, the Quibi has been installed by 3.5 million customers and the service only has 1.3 million active users. Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, who founded the company with CEO Meg Whitman, blamed Quibi’s slow start on the coronavirus pandemic and said the early engagement figures are “not close to what we wanted.”
Quibi debuted on April 6 with several original series and films, all delivered in 10-minute episodes. Quibi’s content is a mix of scripted, unscripted, documentaries along with daily news, sports and pop culture programs. The service costs $4.99 with ads and $7.99 without ads but it comes with a 90-day free trial for customers who sign up before the end of April. T-Mobile is also giving away a free year of Quibi to many of its wireless customers.
Quibi’s mobile-only strategy was designed to deliver premium content in small bites to people on the go. However, the COVID-19 crisis has forced most Americans to stay home and work remotely while severely limiting how much they travel. In response, Quibi said it was fast-tracking development on a feature that would allow Quibi users to cast content from the service to TVs. According to the report, the feature is ready for iOS users and will be ready for Android in a few weeks.
The report also said that Quibi will soon allow its users to share content on social media platforms.
Katzenberg said that despite the rocky start for Quibi, he’s seeing encouraging signs like an 80% episode completion rate among users.