nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

nScreenNoise – Why Quibi’s competition is social media

nScreenMedia Video Podcast


At CES 2020, Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg provided the final details of Quibi, their mobile-only premium video service. They think it can expand the mobile video opportunity, but it must displace social media usage first.

Quibi service details (1:02)

Ms. Whitman and Mr. Katzenberg announced that Quibi would cost $4.99 a month with ads and $7.99 to watch ad-free last year. However, at CES, they gave a specific release date and much more detail on the type of content the service will provide, how often it will be updated, and some of the content partners providing it. As well, Quibi will be following the same approach as Disney+ to help jump-start subscriber growth and create a buzz about the service.

Quibi advertising details (3:18)

Hulu says most people sign-up for its cheapest ad-supported plan. Ms. Whitman expects the same will be true for Quibi. Major advertisers have already committed to advertising on the service. However, the ad formats will be quite different from other premium ad-supported video services. That said, Ms. Whitman believes Quibi can offer advertisers something its biggest competitors cannot.

Will people sign up and pay? (5:18)

Ms. Whitman describes Quibi this way:

Meg Whitman - Quibi

Meg Whitman, CEO Quibi

“We think this is a seven in the morning till seven at night on-the-go. You’re commuting; you’re waiting in line at Starbucks for a cup of coffee; you’re at a doctor’s office waiting for a meeting to start. We know people are watching 60 minutes of video a day and we’re just going to expand that pie with a real alternative.”

To be sure, young people are already watching video on their smartphones every day, though perhaps not the 60 minutes Ms. Whitman is suggesting. However, that is not how young people are filling the “odd moments” Ms. Whitman says Quibi is targeting. To be successful, Quibi must steal time to the real king of smartphone usage, social media.


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