On the sixth day of April, which is now the fourth year of 2020, Quibi—short for “quick bites,” which is just painful to type—finally opened its digital doors. After months of threatening to introduce our social media-addled brains to its short-form content, Quibi delivered on that promise, launching a slate of programming broken up into snack-sized “quick bites” (Quibis?) better suited to our shorter attention spans. Unfortunately for Quibi, there’s a whole-ass pandemic happening right now, and people aren’t exactly itching for content designed to be watched “on the go,” since, you know, no one is on the fucking go anymore. And so perhaps it was not terribly surprising that, per The Wrap, was only downloaded 300,000 times on its first day—even though streaming content has become even more popular during our pandemic isolation, and even though Quibi is offering a 90-day free trial period (three times what other streamers are offering at the moment), and even though there’s only so much Candy Crushing you can do while half-watching The Circle and surely there are other uses for our phones (are... there?).
Taken independently, 300,000 isn’t necessarily a small number, but when compared to the 4 million downloads secured by Disney+ at launch, Quibi’s lookin’ pretty pitiful right about now. This is what we in the industry call a “devastating self-own.” But maybe this is what you get for debuting an app that serves up smaller portions of content—smaller portions of interest.