The mobile-first, short-form TV series platformneeds a big push out of the gate when it launches: Great reviews, big talent and cheap monthly consumer prices.
And if that isn’t enough, Quibi, which will launch on April 6, had to cancel its April 5 Culver City, California, party event due to the coronavirus concerns -- a party intended to create major buzz with business and consumer press attendance and hopefully, lots of ink.
With around three weeks to go, it will launch in a noisy OTT environment -- full rivals such as Disney+ and Apple TV+ (already launched) with other big media brand names to come -- HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock.
One thing it doesn’t have is a big distribution partner. That is what Disney+ had when Verizon, as a part of a promotional plan, offered free Disney+ for a year to all its customers. Estimates are Disney+ benefited with some 10 million subscribers -- a sizable head start.
Price is also a factor.
Quibi's starting price is $4.99 a month with advertising; $7.99 without. The former is the same as Apple TV+. Both are less than the $6.99 a month for Disney+, which had the "Star Wars"-themed TV series “The Mandalorian” launched on its debut. That’s why some analysts feel Quibi needs some big marketing, content, and/or price lure.
Good news: Quibi has massive start-up resources for a new media company looking to get firm footing -- some $1.75 billion in investment money.
It has lot of big-name producers/talent on board, too. Is that enough? Not in this media environment, where there is plenty of great content everywhere.
In that regard, Quibi needs to go old-school: It needs a big hit to break through from its more than 175 TV series set to launch in its first year. And it needs it quickly.