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Can Quibi Build a Brand From Scratch Amid Stiff Streaming Competition?

With a flurry of five short commercials during the Oscars telecast, Quibi kicked off the ad blitz it needs to teach potential subscribers such basics as how to pronounce the company’s name (say “kwih-bee”), and why they might use the mobile streaming-video service in the first place.

The ad blitz was also a metaphor for Quibi itself and the challenges it faces launching a new entertainment brand, built entirely around short-form mobile video consumption, into the brutally competitive online-streaming sector.

On Oscar night, the brief ads made the point that even when time is tight, you can still watch all of a Quibi episode. Its series—Quibi plans 175 of them, and 8,500 pieces of content in its first year—will unfold in seven- to 10-minute bites over multiple weeks. Ads wrapped around Quibi episodes will be short too, from 6- to 15-seconds long. For access to all that, subscribers will pay about $5 a month for an ad-supported version of Quibi, and $8 per month for an ad-free version.

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