Another day, another sad Quibi story. The mobile-first streaming platform is looking to cut costs and save money where it can now that its major advertising sponsors are pulling back. Pepsi, Taco Bell, Walmart and more all locked up advertising deals with Quibi pre-launch, but are now asking to spread out their payments over a longer period of time since the streaming service is struggling to pull in viewers.
With not as many eyes on the content, sponsors may not hit the number of guaranteed ad views promised. In that case, Quibi will have to issue makegood spots to its ad partners, which is basically like free space. Giving away future space means new advertisers won’t be paying for those slots, so it will be a loss on Quibi’s end.
“We deeply value the commitments our advertising partners have made and are working in close partnership with them to learn and help them be successful on the platform,” Nicole McCormack, Quibi’s head of advertising partnerships, said in a statement.
Top Quibi leadership say they may have overrelied on scripted programming to carry the streaming service. That, along with a disappointing lack of enthusiasm among viewers and inactive app users may all be contributing to the struggles Quibi has been facing since launch.
While Quibi executives are looking at all possible reasons for the app’s poor performance, Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg is blaming one thing:
“I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus,” Mr. Katzenberg said. “Everything.”
Despite the rocky start and unforeseeable future, Quibi continues to debut new content like last week’s Kirby Jenner along with adding new features. Most recently, the app made pulled a 180 on its original concept of mobile-only “quick bites” on the go and added airplay support for watching on the big screen.
Quibi currently has about 3.5 million app downloads and 1.3 million active users, according to Katzenberg, though the number is closer to 2.9 million downloads, according to Sensor Tower
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