Quibi: Could a New Approach Help it Dominate the Streaming Market?

Streaming movies and TV shows has become a core part of our lifestyles in the past few years. However, deciding which platforms to make use of seems to have got a lot harder recently, with competition in the area really ramping up in the last 12 months or so.
While the likes of Netflix and Amazon have dominated the market for some time, new entrants like Disney+ have made a real splash. Back in April, the BBC reported that the service had reached 50 million subscribers in just five months, while its range of content looks set to get even more compelling following news that Beyonce is releasing a visual album on it. In addition, HBO Max is offering a range of shows and the promise of hugely anticipated future releases, including the much-discussed Snyder Cut of Justice League.


Another new name that has emerged in streaming in recent times is Quibi, which has been seeking to offer an entirely new angle on how we watch shows.
A new way to watch
Launched in April, Quibi offers content featuring a number of high-profile stars including Anna Kendrick, Idris Elba, Joe Jonas and Jennifer Lopez.
As the official website explains, the aim of the platform is to create high-quality shows designed specifically for viewing on a smartphone, with the content being perfectly framed to fit a screen regardless of the way your device is held.
The concept is undoubtedly an intriguing idea, but new figures have suggested that Quibi may not have proven as successful as hoped in the months since its launch.
Fresh figures
At the start of July, The Verge reported on data from analytics firm Sensor Tower which suggested that just over 900,000 people signed up to Quibi in the first few days after its launch. However, it added that only 72,000 continued with the service once their three-month trial had been completed, with that equating to a conversion rate of just eight percent.
To put the figures in context, The Verge explained how Sensor Tower estimated that 9.5 million people signed up to Disney+ across its first three days of availability in North America. In addition, the service is thought to have converted around 11 percent of them into full subscribers.
Responding to The Verge, Quibi outlined in a statement that the number of paid subscribers is “incorrect by an order of magnitude”. The organization added that more than five million people in total had downloaded the app and it was seeing “excellent conversion to paid subscribers”.
A different approach?
All in all though, there are still plenty of suggestions online that the platform is not doing too well, which of course begs one question – how can the service generate plenty of buzz and draw more subscribers in? There are many different approaches that Quibi might want to consider, but one potential avenue could be to adapt a much-loved property or create a spin-off related to an existing brand or franchise.
The idea is one which has been seen in film and TV time and time again, with a notable recent example being the news broken by The Hollywood Reporter that Karyn Kusama is directing a new big-screen take on Bram Stoker’s horror classic Dracula. Streaming services have also leveraged the power of existing properties as well, with The Mandalorian showcasing a new side of Star Wars and Amazon working on a show based around Lord of the Rings. Famous names also get adapted into other areas of the entertainment world as well, such as video gaming and the online casino sector. In terms of the latter, some online operators feature slots based on much-loved blockbusting hits such as Jurassic Park, Game of Thrones and Bridesmaids among their wide selection of different games.
Drawing on a hit property for inspiration not only creates a new entertainment experience, but may also generate interest among existing fans. Furthermore, many of them may also then tune in to discover how their favourites have been adapted. With that in mind, could a fresh take on a classic be just what Quibi needs?
Going virtual
Alternatively, could Quibi thrive by fully embracing the many capabilities offered by the mobile platform?
For example, virtual reality has enjoyed a new lease of life in recent years, with the combination of mobile phones, headsets and improvements in connectivity arguably making the concept more accessible than ever before. As Quibi already has a mobile focus, would it make sense for the platform to consider offering content based around VR?
Such a move may not only mark the service out from its rivals, but would also highlight it as a forward-thinking platform which is looking for new ways to offer an immersive mobile experience.
An intriguing time
While those ideas are purely speculative, it is clear that this is an intriguing time not only for Quibi but the entire content streaming market as a whole.
The area has become hugely competitive and, with the likes of NBCUniversal’s Peacock also entering the field of play, the various platforms will be looking to mark themselves out from rivals and offer a compelling range of content to subscribers.
It will be fascinating to see how Quibi performs in the months ahead and whether it does take fresh steps as it looks to engage the public.

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