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Quibi: The Streaming Service Meant For a World That No Longer Exists


By: Sakib Tariq


As the global pandemic forced many of the popular forms of entertainment to shut down, people have looked to their screens for amusement more than ever. According to Ofcom, a United Kingdom based communications company, viewing figures for video streaming services went up 71% in comparison to their figures from 2019 in the United Kingdom. Similar figures were seen in Canada, as the online video streaming company, Netflix, was shown to have received a 33% increase in viewer interest from February 2020 to March 2020.


Online streaming services have not taken this opportunity lightly, as Netflix was not the only streaming service to notice an increase of viewer interest. Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Acorn TV, and Hayu all saw an increase in viewer interest in this time span.


Based on the increased interest in streaming services, one would think that the beginning of the global pandemic was an ideal time to launch a video streaming platform. However, this was not the case for short-video app Quibi. The company announced last Wednesday that it would be shutting down its operations and selling its assets. This announcement came only 6 months after its April launch.


Quibi - which is short for “quick bites” - is a video streaming service tailored to smartphone users. The platform is viewable in both landscape and portrait modes and contains series with episodes that run no longer than 10 minutes. Actors and actresses by the likes of Idris Elba, Chrissy Teigen and Will Smith took starring roles in the app’s original content. In total, Quibi had spent upwards of a billion dollars on series and short films and partnered with BCE Inc. to stream TSN, and CTV news on its platform.


Unfortunately, Quibi was not met with the popularity it hoped from the get go. Despite a 3 month free trial, the app fell out of the top 50 Iphone apps chart a week after its release in the United States. The unimpressive trend continued on for months, while the company dealt with lawsuits and took voluntary executive pay cuts in hopes that their low subscribership would change. Ultimately, the company decided it was best to terminate the app and it hopes to shut it down around December 1.


Some blame the streaming services woes on the coronavirus. The app was intended for quick entertainment while on the go, constantly available in a user’s pocket. Their luck truly worked against them as people found themselves at home for most of the day and regularly reaching for their TV remotes. Quibi was perfect for a world that no longer exists.


Sources:

https://www.finder.com/ca/streaming-statistics-canada

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-53637305

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/oct/21/quibi-shut-down-jeffrey-katzenberg-meg-whitman (Picture)


*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.

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