The Rise and Fall of Quibi
Quibi is a video streaming app that came out in April of this year with a unique take on streaming media. It recently announced that it’s already closing the doors which is surprising because it made a big splash at launch by raising 2 billion dollars in start-up capital.
There are a few quirks that Quibi used to separate itself from other services. They have adopted a “turnstyle” view that allows you to watch every show both horizontally and vertically. It’s kind of like a cross between Instagram stories and Netflix. I actually enjoyed viewing the content in this new mode. It was very gimmicky but still provided a unique factor that kept me switching between different views.
The next way Quibi stood out is in the length of each episode. Everything is separated into episodes of 10 mins or less. This is perfect for catching a show on the go or when you’re taking a quick break.
Was Quibi even worth watching?
The first question comes down to a matter of quality content. Streaming services have proven that if you have quality offerings, then people will subscribe to your service. Quibi enlisted some high profile names to help them accomplish this. This includes a roster of A-list celebrities like Kevin Hart, John Travolta, Keither Sutherland, and Anna Kendrick.
The next challenge is the ongoing efforts to continue to release content people want to keep coming back for. This is the current challenge with any streaming service. Quibi already has a handful of Emmy nominations so they did have some quality offerings. An early struggle with any streaming service is keeping up with the demand for continuous new content. This was a challenge that even juggernaut Disney+ experienced early on.
Quibi definitely has shows worth watching. Die Hart Starring Kevin Hart and John Travolta is a shining example of what the service does well. This exclusive series is Kevin Hart at his best. He plays himself as an actor stuck in always playing the comedy relief. He has dreams of being the leading action star in a movie. This dream leads him to enroll in John Travolta’s school for action stars. The series was extremely binge-able and highly entertaining. If anything, I just wanted to see more of it.
Another interesting series that debuted on the service is called The Most Dangerous Game. This series stars Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz. Liam plays a man who becomes the victim of a real-life human hunting game. This series again displayed the strength of the platform and I found myself watching every episode in one sitting. .
Quibi also has some impressive sports series like the Benedict Men docuseries. This series feels like Netflix’s Last Chance U series, but for high school basketball. Another top mention would be the documentary Blackballed which highlights the 2014 NBA playoffs and the Clippers playoffs team bringing the issue of racism to light. This story resonates with the current climate in the U.S. this year.
There are also some fun original series like Memory Hole. This series hunts down embarrassing movies, commercials, and other pop culture mistakes from years past. It’s hosted by Will Arnett and is hilarious to see how bad the ’80s and ‘90s actually were.
In addition to their story-driven series, Quibi has NBC News, a Punk’d style show, a rotten tomato show, and some original competition shows. There is definitely a large variety of shows to check out. If you are open to exploring series outside of specific genres, then you will actually have quite a bit of content to watch.
What went wrong with Quibi?
The answer to this question depends. The easiest culprit is to point at COVID and the current crazy year that 2020 has been. The next struggle would be the strong competition any current streaming service must face. If you are looking for something to replace Netflix or Amazon Prime, then Quibi is a disappointment. However, if you are looking to add to your existing list of services, then Quibi had a lot to like with its platform.
The price was reasonable for the content. This platform honestly surprised me in a good way and had me coming back for more. Unfortunately, Quibi couldn’t pull enough subscribers to keep the company open. In a different year this service might have thrived, but the platform ultimately failed to deliver a unique experience that kept people coming back.