Is Quibi’s “Quick Bite” Streaming Service Worth Your Time?

Photo Courtesy: Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Quibi

If you watched the Super Bowl this year — or scoured YouTube for the best of the big game’s commercials afterward — you probably remember an ad for Quibi. However, like a Geico commercial that’s gotten out of hand, you probably didn’t quite register what was actually being advertised. If you fall into the confused portion of the audience, let us clear things up.

Founded in 2018 by former Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, Quibi is a streaming service that’s led by CEO Meg Whitman — yes, of Hewlett Packard Enterprise fame. According to the folks at Quibi, the service is aimed at a younger demographic with its content being delivered in the form of short, 10-minute episodes called "quick bites," hence the platform’s goofy-sounding name. After raising $1 billion in funding from major investors like The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia and others, Quibi commissioned a slew of original content — 8,500 quick bites (or episodes) and over 175 shows — for its first year.

Months after the muddled, star-packed Super Bowl ads, and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Quibi was finally launched on April 6, 2020. Deadline reported that, in its first day, Quibi was installed by 300,000 users across Apple and Android devices, which isn’t terrible, but it also isn’t Disney+’s 4 million launch-day installs. In fact, in its first week Quibi reached 1.7 million downloads, according to Whitman. So, is the quirky platform just experiencing a slow start, or is the lack of user enthusiasm symptomatic of the platform’s larger issues?