Over a billion dollars invested in short form content.
It’s Quibi’s nine-word origin story. Short for “fast,” Quibi was designed to be a mobile, short-video streaming service featuring big-name celebrities.
It seems like the perfect recipe for content success – people with huge fan followings in content can capture audiences with arguably the shortest attention span in history . And it’s led by two celebrities in business and entertainment: Meg Whitman and Jeffery Katzenberg.
But six months after its launch, Quibi went bankrupt.
And yet, streaming services are exploding. Millions of people stuck at home sitting in front of screens, extending their evenings into the early morning and spending weekends watching drunk original series on Netflix, season after season of that classic sitcom on Hulu, or season after season of intro on YouTube.
Quibi missed how? Business school students can dissect its failure for years. But savvy content marketers will quickly spot these seven flaws in the thinking behind Quibi’s scheme.
Table of Contents
1. Duration is not a magic number
Quibi’s creators argue that mobile viewers will pay for content delivered in short “chapters” that they can watch on the go. But long-form streaming services also have mobile apps, and they’re full of pause buttons that let viewers watch more or less depending on the time.
mobile users choose content to watch the way most viewers do – based on what interests them, not on the duration that best suits their current situation.
The importance of duration is a common question – and debate – in content marketing. A Google search reveals many titles and excerpts in favor of going long. But the real answer – it depends – shows up in the details.
Read this advice from a HubSpot’s blog post : “For SEO, the ideal blog post length should be 2, 100 to 2,400 words, according to HubSpot data. ”
But that sentence does not reflect the full context. HubSpot explains its analysis of 50 largely -reading blog posts found word counts ranging from 333 to 5,581. More than 30% – 16 of those successful posts – had less than 1,500 words.
Lessons learned: Don’t rely on word count or video length as a starting point (or sale) for all content creation.
2. Big budgets don’t guarantee big success
Quibi has raised $1.75 billion. When it folds up six months later, report says it only has $350 left over with millions of dollars to return to investors.
It wasn’t just a failure; it’s a bomb.
Content marketers know that success is not based on budget limitations. While 69% of B2C and 79% of them B2B Marketers say their content marketing programs are successful, 41% of B2Cs and 47% of B2B marketers report budgets under $100,000. (And 29% of B2Cs and 27% of B2Bs have none.) content marketing budget is set.)
Draw result: Don’t assume that success is out of reach if your content marketing budget your small – or it is a given amount if your budget is large.
3. New, shiny things don’t always catch the eye
Like Ahiza García-Hodges write to NBC News: “Quibi also has no advantage over… Disney+, HBO Max and NBC Universal’s Peacock, which have a deep catalog of content that is already popular with viewers. ”
As someone who works in content marketing day in and day out, you know the feeling of content fatigue – that feeling. So when a new or creative idea comes up, you want to take the opportunity to execute it to get away content error .
But it’s only a smart decision if your audience feels the same way.
Lessons learned: Ask your audience before you create the next big thing – or even the little thing outside of your brand’s content comfort zone. Gather a focus group together, do a survey or at least ask a small number of customers and outside marketing staff for their input.
4. Boosting sales pushes prospects
Quibi is expected to have more than 7 million subscribers in its first year. It less than 75,000 . Analysts point out that Quibi never offered a free viewing tier – it always focused on paid subscribers (although it did offer a free 90-day trial.)
There is a problem with just seeing the audience as a collection of wallets. Sometimes people need trust content providers – especially new players – before they provide their credit card information (which Quibi requires even during free trials.)
YouTube launched in 2005, but it didn’t add a paid option, YouTube Red (now YouTube Premium), until 2015. NBCUniversal implemented a similar strategy with its streaming service, Peacock. Launched last year, it has both free and paid subscription options.
Successful marketers know content marketing is not about direct selling. It’s about building an audience with the goal of getting them to eventually take a profitable action (i.e. a sale).
Successful marketers know #ContentMarketing is not about direct selling but about building an audience with the goal of getting them to take a beneficial action, @AnnGynn via @CMIContent said. Click to Tweet
Lessons learned: Focus on building an audience. When your audience begins to see your brand as a trusted source, they are more likely to buy when they need your product or service.