In a surprising move, Quibi is already accelerating its plans to make the streaming app available on TVs less than a week after launch. As one might suspect, the current health crisis isn’t exactly conducive to the brand’s “on the go” watching. Although, CEO Mega Whitman does her best to counter that line of thinking in a new interview with CNBC. “It turns out people have in-between moments at home,” Whitman said. “We don’t actually think it hurt us.”
Nevertheless, Quibi is making moves to get its bite-size content in front of as many as viewers as possible even if that includes pulling back on its initial pitch of being a mobile-only platform, which was apparently the plan all along:
With so many potential customers for Quibi working from home as stay-at-home orders sweep the U.S., Whitman said the company is accelerating its plans to enable the app to cast to TVs. While the feature wasn’t planned to be part of the launch, Whitman said it was always in the cards for later on.
Of course, the major question is if a TV-cast feature will entice new users to plunk down on yet another streaming service, specifically one that’s built around short bursts of content to view in line at the DMV or waiting for your coffee at Starbucks. Quibi could also be looking at a scenario where it launches its TV feature just as social-distancing measures are being lifted.
Despite some doubts around whether or not it was even a real thing, Quibi officially launched last week with a 90-day trial of its streaming service for mobile users. In that first week alone, the app was downloaded 1.7 million times and 80% of viewers were reportedly watching full episodes without tuning out, according to Whitman. Of course, the whole point of Quibi is that episodes are 5-10 minutes long, so that metric is relative, but it does show that the curious content app is finding an audience.