Quibi Advertisers Seek to Defer Payments Due to Slow Subscriber Growth (Report)

New streaming app’s underwhelming start has led ad partners to ask for new arrangements, per the Wall Street Journal

Quibi’s early struggles have led major advertisers to seek revised billing schedules or deferred payments, insiders told the Wall Street Journal in a report published Tuesday.

Top advertisers, including Taco Bell, Pepsi Co. and Walmart, are pushing for updated arrangements, according to the Journal, as Quibi’s partners worry the new streaming service isn’t resonating with enough subscribers. After launching in early April, Quibi had 3.2 million downloads by mid-May, according to data provided by Sensor Tower; by the end of last week, the service was up to 4.2 million downloads, the Journal wrote. Quibi is the 99th most popular free app on Apple’s App Store as of Tuesday afternoon.

A rep for Quibi did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment, but head of advertising partnerships Nicole McCormack told the Journal, “We deeply value the commitments our advertising partners have made and are working in close partnership with them to learn and help them be successful on the platform.”

Quibi’s critics have been more vocal in recent weeks, after founder Jeffrey Katzenberg told The New York Times “everything” about the app’s underwhelming launch stems from the coronavirus pandemic. Both Katzenberg and Quibi were widely skewered on Twitter afterwards.

Last week, a number of Quibi viewers said the app falls short in three key areas: content, technical features and marketing. The app’s shows, in particular, will be crucial towards winning over new subscribers, but the response from users so far has been underwhelming.

“I have checked (Quibi) out, and I’m not a huge fan,” Morris Franco, a Brooklyn-based viewer, told TheWrap. “The app seems cool at first, but the content is horrible.”

Meanwhile, others who said they did enjoy Quibi’s shows pointed to other concerns, like their inability to cast Quibi’s shows from their phones to their smart TVs. Quibi has said it’s working on making this feature available for at least some of its shows in the near future.

Sean Burch

Sean Burch

Tech reporter • [email protected] • @seanb44 


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