Launching at a time when people are looking for more entertainment might be just what Quibi needs right now. Baschez and Keesling agree in their piece, explaining, “Why would they raise so much money at such a high valuation? 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. Quibi will also only be available on mobile devices, unlike streamers like Disney Plus, Netflix, and Hulu. Quibi raised USD 1.75 billion two years before launching its first product. Prior to that, Disney announced that its Disney Plus streaming service would be free for Verizon customers for one year. Or will Quibi suffer because it was built to be consumed while on the go? Most new things fail, and you’ll never be ridiculed for thinking that something new won’t succeed. Going forward, Quibi must execute on three dimensions in order to survive, which in this case means raising more capital from investors in six to 12 months. Matthew Ball is a venture capitalist and digital media strategist. 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. 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): It’s similar to T-Mobile’s deal with Netflix. 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. The app also didn’t allow sharing content to social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Reddit at launch, but they are also in the process of remedying this gap, which should lead to increased earned media and organic customer acquisition. And that turns out to be an important distinction.”. 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 in July, August, or September may have given Quibi the advantage of having the deepest catalog of new, original content, along with more people beginning to leave their homes on a regular basis. "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. 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. 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? For those unfamiliar, Quibi is a short-form video app that will cost $5 a month with ads, or $8 a month without them. 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. Zeynep Tufekci on masks, media, and information ecology. Ask the Porn Industry. It is, and always has been, easy to be skeptical of Quibi. 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. Six weeks after launch, Quibi has a reported 3.5 million downloads and 1.3 million active users. This can be a net positive for new streamers launching over the next few months, including Quibi, HBO Max, and Peacock. 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. 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. 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 In some ways, lower-than-anticipated initial adoption is actually a blessing for the company. Within weeks, Quibi announced that the functionality to cast content to TVs would be added in the next month, a relatively quick product improvement. 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. In October, I wrote a brief summary of the strategy behind Fortnite’s shocking “black hole” event.Here is a quick summary of my thoughts on Fortnite’s Travis Scott live concert. Video-streaming device maker Roku is officially acquiring the right's to short-live Quibi's content library that includes 75 original shows. This is an unflattering quote from an executive, seemingly passing off all responsibility for an underwhelming launch. — Matthew Ball (@ballmatthew) April 13, 2020. The trial initially ran through April 6th, but has since been extended to April 20th. There’s no such thing as an overnight success, and Quibi is just the latest proof of that. The company’s core value proposition, which it spent years building a product for, was undoubtedly damaged by the pandemic. I don’t think so. His essays and investments can be found at www.matthewball.vc and @ballmatthew. Second, it must show progress on KPIs like engagement, conversion, and retention. Matthew Ball + Your Authors @ballmatthew Strategist, essayist, that guy on Twitter, ... 6/ To this end, the company has been incredibly vocal about extending the Quibi length, doing binge releases, changing the formats, etc., based on user feedback. 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. Quibi is set to launch on April 6th. [Writer 2] That’s a ridiculous question. Still, the longterm success of these streamers comes down to new content and keeping people engaged, according to analyst Matthew Ball. Raise enough to test a hypothesis, and ... and media than you might think. 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. As more people stay home to try to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, people are turning to streaming entertainment more frequently. Morning Brew office, content team weekly check-in: [Writer 1] Question: What kind of streaming service is best? It then went on to raise another USD 750 million a year after that. Quibi has already reportedly revised its first-year projections, which had expected 7 million subscribers and $250 million in subscriber revenue. Matthew Ball recently published another fascinating article about what cloud video game streaming may look like in the future. Finally, the company has to find a way to change the narrative of the brand. They literally couldn’t have started the company on much less.”. It is, and always has been, easy to be skeptical of Quibi. 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. It then went on to raise another USD 750 million a year after that. 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. More than that, like Netflix, Quibi is continually learning which shows to surface to new users to best ensure they get hooked. 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. MeWe Sold Itself on Privacy. 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. Take a look, An Oral History of Wikipedia, the Web’s Encyclopedia, The Moderation War Is Coming to Spotify, Substack, and Clubhouse. The ads also try to introduce the word "Quibi" into our vocabulary (apparently a Quibi is essentially a 10-minute segment of time). If you haven’t heard of Quibi, you’d be forgiven to think it was a rocket company to rival SpaceX. 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. Written By Matthew Ball There is a strange disconnect between our collective obsession with media and the amount of money we spend on it. 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. — Will, as Matthew Ball suggested, ... — Is this homebound life an opening for Quibi, which is supposed to launch in a few weeks? -- Will, as Matthew Ball suggested, TV distributors invoke force majeure clauses to renegotiate their "payments to ESPN?" 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. 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. I’m very focused on ‘where are we after a year?’”. Perhaps it’s even easier now that the product has had an underwhelming launch, even according to its founder. Okta CEO Todd McKinnon on Okta’s identity opportunity and operating during COVID. 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. What’s Next for Parler? Then the Radical Right Arrived. The situation in the US is predicted look like this: But MasterClass did something different than Quibi: it took things step by step. 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. The company first revealed its partnership with T-Mobile back in October. Anyone who has experienced “revised projections” or underwhelming product launches knows the importance of maintaining morale and focus within a company. Second, much of the criticism is coming from Silicon Valley tech types, who viewed raising $1.75 billion before launching a product and getting customer feedback as asinine. But we own it.”. 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. Still, the longterm success of these streamers comes down to new content and keeping people engaged, according to analyst Matthew Ball. Interestingly, although Quibi quickly dropped out of the top 10 downloaded apps on the App Store, it hasn’t plummeted as far as most people think. There are two different tiers: a $4.99 plan with ads and a $7.99 plan without ads. A newsletter that puts the week's most compelling tech stories in context, by OneZero senior writer Will Oremus. Even if Quibi doesn’t ultimately IPO or get acquired for huge returns for its backers, the capital invested in Quibi is used to license content from these very studios, and due to the company’s licensing agreements, they ultimately end up with the rights to that content in perpetuity. The company doesn’t have any plans to share just yet, The Verge has learned. 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. 1. This is exactly what Quibi is doing. (After all, the app launched during a global pandemic when everyone is stuck inside.) And then there’s Quibi. Is Quibi dead on arrival? From 2016 to 2018, he was head of strategy at Amazon Studios. 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. Quibi is also offering a 90-day free trial to people who sign up on the website before April 20th. 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. Update (March 20th, 4:30pm ET): The story has been updated to include new information about the free trial date. newsletter, increase in subscribers and customers respectively. It’s a media business. Every weekend, hundreds of headlines are written about the latest box office blockbuster or bomb. Still a relaxed one year before launch. It’s not close to what we wanted.” So, were the skeptics right? 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. — How soon will Hollywood’s TV production suspensions affect the pipeline of new episodes? Quibi is hoping that its partnership with T-Mobile will help garner as many subscribers as possible when it launches. 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. Inside Disney's $200M Gamble on Mulan (Hollywood Reporter) 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. 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. Media analyst Matthew Ball recently wrote that "It's increasingly clear that (niche is) not going to work." This article – Quibi versus the world – is worth reading. 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. For them, investing more capital in Quibi is taking money from one pocket and putting it in the other. Quibi will only be free in an exclusive offer “to subscribers who pay for two or more lines of postpaid service,” Protocol reports. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. 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. 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. 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. For technology companies, it most likely is! Quibi launched in April 2020 and shutdown in October. For a very good reason: Hollywood talent is expensive, and the entire premise of their strategy rests on it. 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