Success Crafted

The Rise and Fall of Quibi: Lessons in On-Demand Streaming

Introducing Quibi: The New On-Demand Streaming Service

Have you heard of Quibi TV? It’s a new on-demand streaming application that provides short-form video content for its subscribers.

In this article, we’ll talk about what Quibi is, how it works, its subscription plans, and the controversy surrounding its launch. We’ll also discuss the founders, Jeffery Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, and how they managed to get high-profile Hollywood studios and Alibaba to partner with them.

Quibi TV Short Form Video Content

Quibi TV is an on-demand streaming application that provides short-form video content that lasts for about 10 minutes or less. The name Quibi is short for “quick bites,” and it’s meant to be consumed on the go.

The application was launched on April 6, 2020, targeting the younger generation. Quibi’s content is focused on a variety of topics like news, sports, reality shows, and scripted dramas.

Most of the content is created by popular Hollywood figures who have worked on blockbusters. In essence, the quality of the content is aimed to be of a high standard, with each episode having an immersive storyline that keeps the viewer engaged.

Quibi’s unique content style is tailored to fit the short attention span of the younger generation who prefer to consume content on the go. Most viewers find the concept of short-form video content interesting, especially when complemented with high-quality content.

This uniqueness has led to the platform attracting a significant number of subscribers within a short period.

Subscription Model and Ad-supported Content

Quibi TV operates a subscription-based model that requires users to join a tier program to access its content. The platform offers two different tiers of subscriptions an ad-supported and ad-free subscription plan.

The ad-supported subscription plan is priced at $4.99 per month and supports ads in between the main content. The ad-free subscription plan costs $7.99 per month and provides an uninterrupted viewing experience.

Compared to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video, Quibi’s subscription prices are relatively high. Moreover, Quibi’s revenue model involves splitting the advertising revenue with the content creators, with a 50-50 revenue sharing model.

This model has led to attracting significant advertising partners, including Pepsi, T-Mobile, and Taco Bell, among others.

Founders – Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman

Jeffrey Katzenberg, a Hollywood veteran, was the founder of DreamWorks Animation and served as Disney Studios Chairman. His presence in the movie industry has given the platform an edge with his years of experience in creating motion picture content.

Meg Whitman, on the other hand, is the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and eBay. Her years of experience in the technology industry have brought a significant amount of technical expertise to the team.

Together as co-founders, they have managed to build and lead the platform to significant success.

Launch of Quibi – Hype and Funding

Quibi was launched in April 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform was announced in January the same year, with a significant amount of funding from Wall Street.

Reports claim that the company raised close to $1.8 billion from investors, which was the largest amount of money ever raised for a startup. The hype surrounding Quibi’s launch was noteworthy, and marketing efforts were on full gear.

Quibi also managed to get several big Hollywood studios and Alibaba to invest in the platform. These significant investments helped to capture attention, and the platform was considered an exciting new player in the streaming market.

Controversy surrounding the Launch

However, in the months following its launch, Quibi was met with multiple controversies. Many criticized its pricing strategy, which was seen as too high for the content it provides.

Others criticized the content quality, claiming that it was not up to the standard for the amount of money they were charging. However, the most significant issue was the timing of the launch, which coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The lockdowns meant that people were staying home, and the “on-the-go” concept behind Quibi was unappealing to consumers. This, in turn, led to lower viewer engagement and lower subscription revenue.

Quibi’s launch may have been too ambitious, with the current market trends, mostly on the side of longer video content. The platform’s focus only on short-form content became a hindrance to its success.

In conclusion, Quibi TV is an on-demand streaming application that provides short-form video content to its subscribers. With its unique approach to content consumption, the platform promises to captivate and engage its users.

However, recent feedback suggests that the platform has faced challenges, given the subscription model and timing of its launch. Nevertheless, the lessons learned from Quibi’s launch will help shape the future of on-demand streaming platforms.

As for Quibi, the platform has since announced its shutdown and will go down in history as a platform that attempted to disrupt the streaming market but couldn’t. The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Quibi’s Success

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the success of Quibi TV.

With people staying indoors, the platform’s concept of “on-the-go” content was no longer relevant. The success of on-demand streaming services during the pandemic relied on offering quality long-form content for audiences stuck at home.

Quibi failed to adapt to the changing trend, and as a result, could not capture the market. Quibis unique selling point was mainly the short-form content that attracted a particular niche.

However, the pandemic meant that the concept of on-the-go content was no longer in demand, as more people spent their time at home. During the pandemic, many viewers were seeking longer content, and Quibi’s short-form video format became less appealing, resulting in a decline in subscriber numbers.

Furthermore, the platform faced a lawsuit from Eko, an interactive video company, which claimed that Quibi stole its technology. This situation led to a setback in the platform’s operations and reputation.

In response to this challenge, the platform secured additional funding, hoping to bounce back from its initial challenges. However, the pandemic had upsurged viewing habits, and Quibi could not keep up, ultimately leading to its inevitable shutdown.

Lackluster Content and Faulty Targeting

Another critique of Quibi was that its content was lackluster, with few popular titles and inadequate promotion. The platform aimed to target younger audiences, particularly Gen Z and millennials.

However, the content failed to resonate with the audience. The quality of the content produced by Quibi was also lacking, with many seeing the model of shorter production schedules as a hindrance to the platform’s success.

The content quality also did not match the high subscription price. In comparison with its competitors like Netflix, with more quality and additional features, Quibis prices were seen as high.

Moreover, the platform’s marketing strategies were ineffective, not able to build sufficient hype and anticipation leading up to the platform’s launch. These issues further pushed back the platform’s adoption by its target audience.

Additionally, Quibi failed to integrate essential features such as the ability to take screenshots, lack of TV compatibility, and limited sharing options. These values were seen as very critical.

Quibi’s playback technology, which allowed users to watch videos in both landscape and portrait modes, also did not meet many users’ expectations.


Quibi TV was not shy about spending. The platform was built on a promise of quality and unique content, and as such, involved high marketing and production costs.

These expenses became the platform’s undoing as it could not translate these investments into revenue from its subscribers. Reports suggest that Quibi spent a whopping $100,000 per minute on content, which was much more than Netflix’s $15,000 per minute, a player with wider acclaim in the streaming market.

This overspending strategy was one of the platform’s problems, as it could not gain enough revenue from its subscribers to cover these costs.

Recruitment of Talent

From the onset, Quibi TV aimed to attract top talent in the entertainment industry, including some of the best directors, writers, and producers. This strategy led to the platform hosting some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

However, attracting talent to the platform was not enough. These talents came with higher salaries and more significant production costs, significantly contributing to Quibi’s high total production costs.

In contrast, veteran streaming platforms like Netflix primarily produced their content. The cost of hiring big names would translate into excellent content and massive platform recognition.

In conclusion, Quibi’s shutdown is a lesson to the industry, highlighting the importance of understanding market trends and adapting one’s strategy at the right time. While Quibi TV had unique content, this was not enough to attract a sustainable subscriber base.

The platform failed to adapt to the changing market landscape, with the pandemic further pushing back its viewership. Additionally, it lacked essential features and came with a high subscription price compared to other more established streaming platforms.

In essence, Quibi TV was a promising concept that fell short, failing to prove successful in its execution. Lawsuit with Eko and its Impact on Quibi’s Executives

The lawsuit with Eko, an interactive video company that accused Quibi of using its patent-protected technology without permission, was another blow to the platform.

The lawsuit was filed in March 2020, before Quibi even launched, and had the potential of affecting the platform’s reputation and credibility. The case presented a major distraction to Quibi’s executives and management team.

The lawsuit with Eko was an unanticipated distraction that redirected the platform’s focus, with executives spending valuable time and resources on legal proceedings. Furthermore, the lawsuit had the potential to weaken Quibi’s position regarding funding.

It raised doubts among investors about the platform’s ability to develop and grow sustainably. Quibi’s response to the lawsuit with Eko was to file a countersuit that claimed that Eko’s allegations were without merit and that the allegations themselves were based on a flawed patent system.

However, the lawsuit remained a point of controversy and may have contributed to the platform’s eventual downfall.

Founder Issues and Management Conflict

During Quibi’s development and launch, some within the company claimed that there were interpersonal conflicts between the founders. These conflicts were exacerbated by reports of the executives being micro-managers.

Reports suggest that the platform’s founders were too focused on taking control of most of the platform’s operations but paid inadequate attention to resolving pressing issues like content and marketing that could further help the growth of the company. Such issues came as a hindrance to the development of the platform, detracting from its ability to fully leverage the talent and resources that the founders managed to attract to the team.

Additionally, the age difference between the two founders also created a divide in decision-making. Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is much older, was seen as resistant to certain ideas, while Meg Whitman, who is younger, was seen as wanting to experiment more to keep up with changing trends.

This difference in mindset, paired with a lack of compromise, could have led to mismanagement of the platform as each founder leaned towards their preferred outcomes. The interpersonal conflicts among the platform’s founders led to missed opportunities that could have helped the platform grow sustainably.

It is widely speculated that had the founders worked better together, the platform would have moved with the times better and developed its content strategy, gaining better relevance to its target market. The failure of the founders to imagine the platform’s trajectory and work together towards a common goal ultimately affected the company’s success.

In conclusion, the lawsuit with Eko, founder issues, and management conflicts were significant problems that contributed to Quibi’s eventual failure. These issues distracted the platform’s executives, diverted attention from critical issues, and ultimately led to a loss of opportunities.

If Quibi’s management team had taken more decisive action and worked together towards the platform’s success, things might have been different for Quibi TV. In essence, the platform’s shutdown is an important lesson to the industry and a reminder that success in the streaming industry involves a careful, diligent, and adaptable approach.

Quibi TV, the on-demand streaming application that promised to revolutionize content consumption, ultimately faced significant challenges leading to its shutdown. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, lackluster content, high pricing, and legal issues all played a part in its downfall.

Additionally, founder issues and management conflicts hindered effective decision-making. The story of Quibi serves as a reminder that success in the streaming industry requires adaptability, understanding market trends, and cohesive teamwork.

It underscores the importance of catering to changing consumer preferences, delivering high-quality content at an appropriate price point, and fostering a collaborative and innovative environment within the company. Quibi’s journey is a cautionary tale of the risks and complexities involved in launching a new platform in a competitive market, leaving behind lessons that both industry players and consumers can learn from.

Popular Posts