Zeynep Tufekci on masks, media, and information ecology. Minutes after we launch, everything will be driven by data.” CEO Meg Whitman has doubled down on this philosophy, stating in a recent interview with Deadline, “We now have a chance to hone in on what we’re doing. It then went on to raise another USD 750 million a year after that. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. If you haven’t heard of Quibi, you’d be forgiven to think it was a rocket company to rival SpaceX. As Ball has noted, there seemed to be an expectation that because of the amount of capital raised, Quibi should have instantly found product-market fit on the day it launched — but that historically hasn’t happened for new media formats and consumer behaviors. There’s no such thing as an overnight success, and Quibi is just the latest proof of that. Quibi is marketing itself in a tongue-in-cheek way: its ads make fun of the fact that the world probably doesn't need another video service. As media analyst Rich Greenfield has said, “Churn is the killer of new subscription video services.” Churned users are unlikely to return, and the cost to acquire new customers to replace them is likely to be higher, as paid advertising picks the low-hanging fruit first, metaphorically speaking. Quibi will also only be available on mobile devices, unlike streamers like Disney Plus, Netflix, and Hulu. In some ways, lower-than-anticipated initial adoption is actually a blessing for the company. The partnership has helped both Disney and Verizon, whose executives touted an increase in subscribers and customers respectively during calls with investors in the most recent earnings season. Quibi is set to launch on April 6th. Matthew Ball said this on the most recent episode of the Recode Media podcast and it seems so incredibly on the money: The particularly terrifying piece of this when you take a look and try to understand how much headroom is left, Netflix said years ago that they thought the United States would saturate at 60-90 million. It is, and always has been, easy to be skeptical of Quibi. Has Come in Just 5 Years, Inside the Surprisingly Big Business of Spotify’s Secretive White-Noise Spammers. Are those considered also players in this back and forth? But most consumers won't need to make that choice. (Disclosure: Vox Media, which owns The Verge, has a deal with Quibi to produce a Polygon Daily Essential, and there have been early talks about a Verge show.). One of the most important metrics in subscription businesses is churn, or the percentage of subscribers who unsubscribe on a monthly basis. Or will Quibi suffer because it was built to be consumed while on the go? But it’s Epic Games, with Fortnite, that has the most viable path forward in terms of creating the Metaverse, according to an essay by venture capitalist and former Amazon executive Matthew Ball. But it quickly fell in rankings in the app store, none of the launch content has reached the cultural zeitgeist, and in a feisty interview with the New York Times last week, founder Jeffrey Katzenberg complained that the number of users did not meet expectations, saying, “It’s not up to what we wanted. Raise enough to test a hypothesis, and ... and media than you might think. The trial initially ran through April 6th, but has since been extended to April 20th. Although it was intended to be watched exclusively on smartphones while outside of one’s home, the company received feedback from users that they wanted to be able to watch the content on their TVs. In hindsight, Quibi’s best move may have been to delay its launch a few months until every other streaming service was out of fresh content due to production shutdowns. Whitman said Quibi the launch has exceeded their expectations, describing it as “one of the most successful launches of a completely new brand and a completely new app”. Launching at a time when people are looking for more entertainment might be just what Quibi needs right now. But we own it.”. Kinsey Grant [00:05:23] There are also some smaller players out there that are maybe not considered part of the streaming wars narrative, something like Quibi. We’re learning something new every day.”, Quibi was in the unenviable position of launching a mobile-focused product at the beginning of a global pandemic keeping people in their homes. It’s similar to T-Mobile’s deal with Netflix. That's why analyst Matthew Ball argued we should stop using the phrase "streaming wars" since this is more like a battle in a larger war: When the future of the world looked like picking from two dozen Netflixes, it made sense the average household would settle on only a few. Ferrari Capital Efficiency This snippet from an interview with a Ferrari former executive compares and juxtaposes the company's capital efficiency and production approach with mass market car producers. Quibi launched in April 2020 and shutdown in October. For many of Quibi’s investors, who are the very Hollywood studios creating content for the company, the bar for investing more capital is likely lower than you think. While Antenna’s data is an educated guess, Tase and Carson are respected in the industry, and their work recently showed up in an essay about the impact of COVID-19 by analyst Source: Ampere Analysis We’ve also used the plural because these streaming wars also concern formats and models with AVOD fighting with SVOD and short format competing with long format, with public announcements from Quibi highlighting this at CES 2010. The company doesn’t have any plans to share just yet, The Verge has learned. Every weekend, hundreds of headlines are written about the latest box office blockbuster or bomb. Quibi raised USD 1.75 billion two years before launching its first product. (See: Magic Leap.) Update (March 20th, 4:30pm ET): The story has been updated to include new information about the free trial date. The situation in the US is predicted look like this: It then went on to raise another USD 750 million a year after that. newsletter, increase in subscribers and customers respectively. "The cost of content doesn't change based on whether the buyer is large or small, profitable or unprofitable, niche or broad," Ball told dot.LA. Quibi, Peacock And HBO Max Are All Set To Launch In The Coming Months. Matthew Ball, in his wonderful recent piece “Audio’s Opportunity and Who Will Capture It”, expresses this ‘unlock’ through the lens of the possible migration of spoken audio distribution from the legacy RSS format, to a novel, Spotify-owned format (bold added by me): Baschez and Keesling agree in their piece, explaining, “Why would they raise so much money at such a high valuation? Ask the Porn Industry. While it launched with around 50 shows, Quibi releases more new content (both new shows and episodes) each week, along with adding new features. T-Mobile’s deal with Quibi is reportedly only available to customers with more than one line, The M1-powered MacBook Pro is $80 off at Amazon and B&H Photo, Sign up for the One interesting component for Quibi is that it becomes a better proposition on a weekly basis, since all of its content is new and not available anywhere else. Quibi raised USD 1.75 billion two years before launching its first product. Matthew Ball … Most new things fail, and you’ll never be ridiculed for thinking that something new won’t succeed. How AWS and Other Cloud Providers Became the Internet’s Most Powerful Moderators, Take a Look at How Far Image Generation A.I. According to MediaREDEF’s Matthew Ball, Netflix’s catalog has shrunk by two-thirds since 2012, and yet the company has raised its prices by 46% and continues to add subscribers. They literally couldn’t have started the company on much less.”. The company’s core value proposition, which it spent years building a product for, was undoubtedly damaged by the pandemic. MeWe Sold Itself on Privacy. For them, investing more capital in Quibi is taking money from one pocket and putting it in the other. Perhaps it’s even easier now that the product has had an underwhelming launch, even according to its founder. For reference, in the first quarter of 2007, when Netflix streaming — then known as “Instant Watch” — first became available, the company only added 481,000 net new subscribers. Working from a lower initial customer base allows Quibi to use data, customer feedback, and product iteration to improve the experience, before spending to acquire new customers. That hasn’t turned out to be the case, and Katzenberg changed his tune in the New York Times interview, saying, “I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus. What’s Next for Parler? Nearly all media coverage of Quibi has been negative, and partially because of this, even consumers who are interested in some of the content on the app seem to entirely shun the thought of downloading it. For those unfamiliar, Quibi is a short-form video app that will cost $5 a month with ads, or $8 a month without them. But she acknowledged that there are still questions around how many users will stick with the app once the trial period is over. Quibi launched with a 90-day free trial for users who signed up before the end of April, and the percentage of users who convert to subscribers after their free trial ends will be enlightening. It’s not close to what we wanted.” So, were the skeptics right? Second, it must show progress on KPIs like engagement, conversion, and retention. Anyone who has experienced “revised projections” or underwhelming product launches knows the importance of maintaining morale and focus within a company. This can be a net positive for new streamers launching over the next few months, including Quibi, HBO Max, and Peacock. However, as Nathan Baschez and Adam Keesling explain in a recent piece with the headline “Quibi Will Be a Multi-Billion Dollar Company,” “Quibi isn’t a tech startup. — Matthew Ball (@ballmatthew) April 13, 2020. As analyst and venture capitalist Matthew Ball noted on Twitter, the fact that people are stuck at home “will give every new, nascent and yet-to-launch OTT video service a … Whether people want to spend time on their phones watching short snippets of series instead of using the app on the go, which is how founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman imagined people would use Quibi, is the looming question. Matthew Ball, the former head of strategy for Amazon Studios, contends that you can criticize the idea of Quibi, but not the capital spent to build out the content pipeline.If you believed in the idea (as Quibi’s team undoubtedly does), the only way to launch was to raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars. Launching at a time when people are looking for more entertainment might be just what Quibi needs right now. Quibi is hoping that its partnership with T-Mobile will help garner as many subscribers as possible when it launches. At launch, Katzenberg and Whitman had hoped that consumers would have additional free time, and would be starving for fresh content — Quibi had a deep catalog of 45-plus shows at launch. Then the Radical Right Arrived. There are two different tiers: a $4.99 plan with ads and a $7.99 plan without ads. You can see the difference in public opinions on Quibi’s capital raise based on whether the individual is in the tech industry or someone with expertise in the media industry: Matthew Ball, the former head of strategy for Amazon Studios, contends that you can criticize the idea of Quibi, but not the capital spent to build out the content pipeline. So a subscriber who joins in June will almost definitely find the product experience better than someone who joined at launch. As more people stay home to try to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, people are turning to streaming entertainment more frequently. — How soon will Hollywood’s TV production suspensions affect the pipeline of new episodes? Video-streaming device maker Roku is officially acquiring the right's to short-live Quibi's content library that includes 75 original shows. The criticism that I saw before Quibi’s launch seemed to me to come down to two factors: First, as Eric Lu, the co-founder of Kapwing, tweeted recently, it’s easy to criticize new things. [Writer 2] That’s a ridiculous question. Inside Disney's $200M Gamble on Mulan (Hollywood Reporter) Alex Kruglov is the CEO of pop.in, a mobile "Game Night" app where people play fun party games with each other while on live video. A newsletter that puts the week's most compelling tech stories in context, by OneZero senior writer Will Oremus. [Writer 1] False.Black bear. Obviously this is not an apples to apples comparison, but it does provide color for the 3.5 million month-one downloads for Quibi. Still a relaxed one year before launch. Still, the longterm success of these streamers comes down to new content and keeping people engaged, according to analyst Matthew Ball. The company first revealed its partnership with T-Mobile back in October. Quibi is quickly iterating on product with feedback from users, has strategic investors who are likely to continue funding the company, and has a management team with deep experience leading through difficult times. I’m very focused on ‘where are we after a year?’”. If you believed in the idea (as Quibi’s team undoubtedly does), the only way to launch was to raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars. If Quibi’s launch experience and consumer proposition is subpar, exposing millions of users to a product that hasn’t yet found product-market fit is like trying to fill a leaky bucket — an awful waste of money. And then there’s Quibi. It is a text-based reproduction of my April 26 tweetstorm. Tim Culpan on Taiwan, COVID, and Apple’s supply chain. Much like T-Mobile’s “Netflix on Us” promotion, customers who want free access to shortform video streaming service Quibi will have to meet a specific requirement: they must have a multiple-line plan with the carrier. Written By Matthew Ball There is a strange disconnect between our collective obsession with media and the amount of money we spend on it. For technology companies, it most likely is! Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg on working from home. Int. Katzenberg also shared that 80% of users who start a piece of content finish it, which is an encouraging engagement metric. Media analyst Matthew Ball recently wrote that "It's increasingly clear that (niche is) not going to work." Whitman has said as much about her timeline for assessing the feasibility of Quibi, noting, “We’re still new at this and it’s the unknown unknowns that we’re trying to figure out. The catalyst for writing that piece was a frustration that journalists, venture capitalists, and many others seemed to be dismissing Quibi both offhandedly and with a seemingly personal joy in what they knew would be the company’s eventual failure. Think Netflix, Hulu, IMDB TV, YouTube and even TikTok and I am sure if you ask yourself “Do I really need ONE MORE SVOD”, the answer likely is no. AB5 Brings Uncertainty: The new California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) became effective on January 1, 2020. Prior to that, Disney announced that its Disney Plus streaming service would be free for Verizon customers for one year. More studios like Disney, Universal, Warner Bros., and Sony have started bringing films to VOD and streaming early in an attempt to earn revenue and boost subscriber numbers. And that turns out to be an important distinction.”. Matthew Ball recently published another fascinating article about what cloud video game streaming may look like in the future. Matthew Ball has argued otherwise in The Flaws of "Subscription Fatigue", "SVOD Fatigue", and the "Streaming Wars" that Quibi is focused on a new type of need and that it can build a defensible position. Quibi, like many other streamers, has found itself in an unusual moment. Everything. More than that, like Netflix, Quibi is continually learning which shows to surface to new users to best ensure they get hooked. -- Will, as Matthew Ball suggested, TV distributors invoke force majeure clauses to renegotiate their "payments to ESPN?" Within weeks, Quibi announced that the functionality to cast content to TVs would be added in the next month, a relatively quick product improvement. After two years and hundreds of millions of dollars spent in the ramp-up to launching a new subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service led by two of the most seasoned and successful tech and media executives, does the underwhelming launch mean the inevitable demise of Quibi? This could in part be due to the company’s partnership with T-Mobile, which is giving some subscribers a free year of the service. Six weeks after launch, Quibi has a reported 3.5 million downloads and 1.3 million active users. I don’t think so. In some ways, lower-than-anticipated initial adoption is actually a blessing for the company. Still a relaxed one year before launch. Is Quibi dead on arrival? Take a look, An Oral History of Wikipedia, the Web’s Encyclopedia, The Moderation War Is Coming to Spotify, Substack, and Clubhouse. Still, the longterm success of these streamers comes down to new content and keeping people engaged, according to analyst Matthew Ball. When Quibi finally launched a few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about the finer details of the platform that skeptics seemed to ignore altogether. Eugene Wei on the half-life of information. But MasterClass did something different than Quibi: it took things step by step. Finally, the company has to find a way to change the narrative of the brand. 1. This article – Quibi versus the world – is worth reading. — Will, as Matthew Ball suggested, ... — Is this homebound life an opening for Quibi, which is supposed to launch in a few weeks? 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