Quibi is experimenting with a new, free ad-supported subscription - The UpStream

Quibi is experimenting with a new, free ad-supported subscription

posted Sunday Aug 9, 2020 by Scott Ertz

Quibi is experimenting with a new, free ad-supported subscription

Quibi is far from the darling of the streaming video industry. In fact, the company was confusing even before its launch. The professionally-produced short-form content concept didn't make a lot of sense to most of the industry, but T-Mobile saw the potential. While there were a lot of initial signups, the company struggled to convert trials to paid memberships. It could be that people weren't interested in paying $5 per month to watch maybe one or two interesting shows (Reno 911!, anyone?).

Taking a page out of Peacock's equally confusing launch, adding a new ad-supported free tier in some markets. Quibi's "standout" feature is its short-form content. Essentially, the content is designed to be consumed easily and conveniently between other activities, or while waiting on something else to begin. But, unlike watching someone do something stupid on TikTok, this content is professionally produced, scripted content.

Other content services that offer short-form video tend to be ad-supported. Think of things like Facebook Watch, YouTube, TikTok, etc. None of them charge a monthly fee, so people are used to their "wasting time" content being free and ad-supported. By bringing that feature to Quibi, it is likely that their active user count and viewer time will increase.

The big disappointment is that they do not seem to have implemented this new pricing tier in all markets. So far, it looks like it might just be an experiment in Australia and New Zealand. Hopefully, though, we will see this tier expand to more markets in the future. Until then, if you are outside of those two countries, you're going to have to either get your viewing done in the 14-day trial or cough up the $5 per month for the full experience.

Would an ad-supported tier convince you to spend time on Quibi? Let us know in the comments.


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