How Quibi Can Fix Itself

quibi Illustration
Cheyne Gateley/Variety Intellige

Quibi seems to be hearing the marketplace reactions to its app loud and clear.

The company yesterday rolled out an iOS update that allows users to stream Quibi content on TV sets via Chromecast devices, The Verge reported.

Chromecast compatibility should help boost Quibi engagement somewhat, although it’s unlikely to be a game-changer for the young app. Chromecast only accounted for 6% of global connected TV viewing hours in Q4 2019, far behind streaming device market leaders Fire TV and Roku.

Still, the move is the latest suggestion that Quibi is listening to consumer feedback and becoming less dead set on remaining the walled-gardened and mobile-only streamer it hit the market as just two months ago. 

This, and even greater flexibility from Katzenberg & Co., seems sorely needed at this point. Complaints on Quibi’s mobile-only nature flooded in early on, and Quibi’s scripted fare hasn’t exactly caught fire (Quibi itself has suggested this). By early May, under 40% of the 3.5 million that had installed the app were actively using it, according to Quibi. 

So what else can Quibi do to get closer to becoming the revolutionary streamer it was originally envisioned (by itself) to be?

Removing more obstacles that stand in the way of Quibi travelling to social is one step. Quibi, like other SVODs on mobile, prevents users from mobile screenshotting shows.

But Quibi, which unlike others doesn’t support web access, could still more regularly drop full episodes on YouTube to help it drum up engagement on social, which insiders reportedly fear Quibi is too distant from.

Another concession could be to lean away from its daily episode drop strategy. U.S. adults aged 25-35 (part of Quibi’s target demo) indicated the ability to binge was one of the most important features of a streaming platform, per Morning Consult