A new short-form video streaming app was unveiled at the beginning of April, providing “quick bite” video content suitable for commuting and short breaks. Quibi, which is available exclusively on smartphone and tablet devices, segments parts of television programmes or movies into clips that are ten minutes long or less.
The platform was launched on 6 April, and within the first seven days experienced a take-up of 1.7 million downloads, as users took full advantage of the service’s 90-day free trial.
Ad-free versions have already been made available to users in Britain and Germany, as well as the US and Canada. Meg Whitman, boss of Quibi, believes there is a niche for this service to cater for those that “have in-between moments at home”.
Plans are afoot to fast-track a new Quibi app that would enable videos to be viewed on larger televisions too. Time will tell whether the Quibi service has legs, given that none of its 1.7 million users have paid a penny yet for their subscriptions. Although the 1.7 million figure is higher than the 1.5 million that analysts anticipated would sign up to the service in its earliest stages, the Quibi platform is still dwarfed by the ten million-plus sign-ups to competitor platform Disney+ on its first day alone.
The development of Quibi as a concept is further proof that the entertainment sector as a whole is leaning more heavily towards these short-burst services On smartphone devices, the hyper-casual mobile game industry has experienced rapid growth.
App developers scramble to build the next Candy Crush Saga or Angry Birds, the latter built by Rovio; both of which sparked the hyper-casual craze.
The length of time that people game is changing, and marathon gaming sessions are no longer the norm. Instead, many gamers choose to play these hyper-casual games at home while multitasking. These apps, therefore, provide short bursts of low-commitment entertainment, similar to Quibi’s video concept.
The iGaming sector has also worked hard to carve a niche among ‘new generation’ consumers. At leading operators NetBet, a huge library of video slots with varying themes are made available on both desktop and mobile devices. Developed by pioneers of the iGaming scene such as NetEnt and Play’n GO, these slots are designed for quick, easy play.
Most titles have ‘autoplay’ functionality enabled, allowing players to automatically set the reels to play for a predefined number of spins within their budget – without having to repeatedly hit the ‘spin’ button – resulting in a more immersive experience.
The way sports fans are consuming content online is also changing. The hectic work-life balance of the average supporter means that apps are becoming integral to keeping fans updated on the comings and goings of their favourite teams and players.
The Sky Sports mobile app provides on-demand streams of news bulletins and match highlights, while BT Sport uses YouTube to make highlights, pre-fight press conferences, interviews, and other short form content available to fans regardless of whether they’re a subscriber.
Whether the likes of Quibi have a long-term future remains to be seen. The proof in the pudding will be in July/August when those 90-day trial periods cease, and users decide whether it’s a fad or here to stay.