Quibi isn’t worth the money


Illustration by Alexandria Moore.

Quibi, yet another streaming-based platform, could not have come at a better time. The videos available on the app are short and are produced entirely through viewer subscription fees. But, with so many streaming services already available, is Quibi worth the money?

Within each video section, Quibi is organized into different genres and chapters. With options such as comedy, drama, sports and news available, the app allows viewers to see short clips in order to stay up-to-date on episodes. The app itself is similar to Vine, an entertainment app that was discontinued in 2017. 

Quibi’s founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said the app is still developing as new episodes are released and is likely to produce many more genres in the future. Many celebrities have either promoted or even acted in Quibi episodes, which has caused an initial great amount of popularity for the app. 

Without ads, a subscription is $8 per month. This includes all episodes and free reign of the app. With ads, a subscription is $5 per month. While many have compared the short clips to watching episodes on Snapchat, others have spotted differences in Quibi’s higher quality per episode. If this current production quality continues, Quibi will likely have a higher following in part due to its celebrity casts. 

Many Quibi shows are already popular, such as “Thanks a Million,” where celebrities give unsuspecting individuals cash prizes. Jennifer Lopez is the producer of the show and even stars in the first episode. The object of the season is for celebrities to give $100,000 to someone who helped them when they were younger. Even though there was a lot of hate for the idea, the show is continuing to gain fans. 

Other shows, however, aren’t taken as seriously. “Chrissy’s Court,” a real-life comedic version of “Judge Judy,” shows Chrissy Teigen solving unnecessary disputes between guests. Compared to more serious cases in actual courtrooms, one episode features a dispute over a sweater. While it is comedic, the show is a trainwreck court drama. 

In comparison to other streaming services, Quibi has blocked out content when others try to screen record or screenshot while watching. Instead of making the episodes more accessible or shareable, the app creators have decided to go the more difficult route and close off any possible reproduction of the episodes. While producers have made a pretty penny as a result, viewers can’t help but feel the need to share each comedic moment throughout the seasons, and this is a huge problem for them. 

While originally generating a ton of buzz, Quibi’s biggest competition won’t be streaming services. While many have compared the app to Netflix or Hulu, who also require subscriptions, Quibi has only minute-long videos, making it closer to TikTok or Instagram. 

While Quibi has already spent a lot of time and money on ads, the app itself isn’t as popular as it originally had hoped for. Many celebrities are still giving the app a thumbs-up, leading viewers to continue downloading content, but Quibi is far from everyone’s favorite streaming service. In fact, the app currently isn’t even in the top 70 of the iOS App Store charts. 

Many are blaming the app’s failure to COVID-19 or overhyped ad-placements, but the true competition to cause the end for Quibi will be other social media platforms. Most phone-based apps are used by those with less-than busy lives, such as teenagers. While other free apps like Snapchat and TikTok remain popular, viewers will continue to spend their time elsewhere.