Is 'Placed-Based Media' Passe in the Post-Quibi World?

Wither the bigger “placed-based” media industry now that Quibi is history?

Think about big digital video outdoor screens, in-stadium video projections and business/medical offices with video content.

A new placed-based TV/video platform, from a company called It’s Relevant LLC, is launching what it calls Covid-Free TV for all those who can be found in doctors' waiting rooms or in other businesses that fear you-know-what.

Here’s the premise from Jonathan Krackehl, CEO of It’s Relevant, in a press release: “Playing a cable TV channel in your business may be creating fear among your visitors without you even knowing it ... news about Covid-19 often sends the message "stay at home" more than anything else.”

And no business wants that.

We assume the actual words “Covid-Free TV” isn’t a consumer-facing brand name of any network. The company says it will provide custom-made mixes of content for businesses, along with “blocking mentions of coronavirus for customers in waiting rooms.”



For almost two decades, consumers have had alternatives, using their smartphones for all kinds of stuff, including calm video content or repeat episodes of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” -- even during doctor visits.

We wonder then what remains of the Quibi debacle? What kind of entertainment should one do when outside in the future — and when pandemic restrictions ease?

If you are committed to absolutely having an overhead TV screen in your office or business, calming TV, no-fear content might sound good. But it will continue to compete with digital media content on your phone, where a more personalized approach can offer game shows, entertainment, reality TV shows, financial news or other programming.

In essence, this has been a Quibi model, where “quick bites” of five-to-10 minutes of TV content can be consumed.

Assume that Quibi might have been over-ambitious when it comes to pricey TV content, and then ask: Is there room for a much more scaled-down version of an all-encompassing easy-to-access video app -- perhaps a more modest Netflix-like popular TV-video platform?

Consider other fear-free video networks: “Trump-free TV,” “Clown-free TV” or “Drug-free TV.” What about other phobias? “Yoga-free TV” or “soft-rock free TV”?

In fact, it's wise to avoid all things on TV we fear.

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