It might sound harsh and even uncaring, but the first casualty of the streaming wars has been announced since Quibi is deciding to shut down in order to cover the massive losses that some were actually predicting. Despite its decent price and the fact that it drew in a few A-listers to create content, the streaming service managed to attract only 500,000 subscribers, which might sound like a lot, but when compared to the millions that other streaming services have, it’s kind of pitiful. The inability to stream on anything but mobile devices is likely one reason why it didn’t perform so well, but it’s also easy to look at the fact that it entered at a time when other, well-established names were also making their way into the streaming wars, and it was simply outmatched and outclassed from the start. There’s not much else to say about it since to be certain, any contender that’s trying to enter the streaming wars with the intent to be a major player needs to come with more than Quibi was able to bring. The fact that it had plenty of capital to start with and a good number of people who were willing to contribute makes it feel as though this should have been more than just an attempt, it should have been a firm step onto the playing field as Quibi was being touted as a confident and capable service.
That’s the way to project oneself when hitting the scene obviously, but there has to be enough content to back up the bravado, and Quibi didn’t have it. In a way that’s like a big, strong player making their way onto a pro sports team only to fail because they have little to no idea of what they’re doing. Netflix, Amazon, HBO, and even Peacock have all come from a stable base that’s been developed over years, and have gone through the hard times as well as the easy, and while those behind Quibi might have earned their way up as well, there was obviously one lesson or more that they were lacking when it came to understanding the viewers and what they really wanted. It’s easy to give the streaming service credit for trying something different with their shorter programs and the fact that they had a different price for content with ads and content without ads. But the fact that they didn’t break out of just being featured on mobile devices did manage to hurt them since a lot of people don’t mind this, in fact, people enjoy being able to stream on mobile devices since it’s insanely useful when one is out and about and wants to watch their favorite shows or movies. But they also want to be able to watch the same content when they get home and are in front of their own TV. Without being able to do this, Quibi kind of shot themselves in the foot.
That wound was only compounded by their business plan, which might have been sound enough to them when they were looking over it, but obviously didn’t have enough to perform as well as they wanted when contending with other streaming services. A company can’t just jump in the ring and expect to be able to overcome the kind of giants that Netflix, Disney+, Amazon, and many others have become, especially since without the same kind of backing, Quibi had little to no chance to really be heard by as many people. One thing that is also obvious is that with so many streaming channels it’s difficult for anyone to see everything they want without having to choose which service they really want to pay for. After a while the cost starts adding up in a way that makes it reminiscent of paying for cable, meaning that a person is paying for the content they want, but are getting everything else they’re not bound to watch. Quibi was just another unneeded expense for a lot of people and it shows. But the point is always bound to come back to the idea that Quibi just wasn’t ready for this fight and came in woefully unprepared despite their budget and despite their good intentions. They came to the wrong fight at the wrong time and it’s bound to cost them plenty when all is said and done.
They might be able to salvage something since the shows they were going to feature need to go somewhere, so it might be that they’ll recover some of their losses, but it’s fair to think that they’re going to break even at best and not really have enough to show for their efforts to call it a win at the end. Right now the sun has set on Quibi, and it’s just a matter of time before they’re a fading memory, at least that’s how it feels.