Quibi has reportedly been in talks with both Amazon and Roku over the possibility of bringing the mobile-only streaming service to the Fire TV and Roku platforms. If those talks result in the launch of platform apps, it would signal a major shift away from the very premise the service was created for.
Right now, there are plenty of streaming services to choose from. For some, the choice might be too much, resulting in what is often referred to as ‘subscription fatigue.’ Quibi appeared to understand this and as a result, looked to build a service that was not just mobile-first, but mobile only. Offering all of those consumers who now watch video content on their smartphone, a service built from the ground up with phones in mind.
According to Variety, who cites a “source familiar with the discussions,” Quibi has been in talks with both Roku and Amazon, with a view to making a Quibi app available on the two platforms. Considering these are two of the most popular streaming platforms, the availability of a Quibi app on these devices would instantly open the streaming service up to significantly more consumers.
A Quibi U-turn?
In spite of still being a new app, the problem Quibi is already facing is that not as many people see the value in a mobile-only service as the company first thought. While consumers are happy to watch videos on their phone, they are equally happy to watch on the big screen at home, with the real luxury being the ability to switch between the two scenarios, depending on the situation.
With Quibi having banked entirely on phones, it instantly alienated anyone not keen on exclusively watching on their smartphone. Although Quibi did try to quickly remedy the situation by rolling out AirPlay support to allow iPhone users to cast content to their TV, and this was then followed by Chromecast support so Android device users could do the same. Now, with Fire TV & Roku support said to be a possibility as well, it seems like Quibi is walking back on the very selling point of the service.
Still no guarantee of Quibi on the TV
While the report does clearly look to confirm talks between Quibi and Roku and Amazon have taken place, that’s not to say a deal will ever be done, or that Quibi will make it to living room TVs. Of the two scenarios mentioned, the report implies that Amazon might be the more willing of the two, considering the company is noted to have “picked back up” talks, suggesting this is not the first time that discussions have taken place.
In contrast, while talks between Quibi and Roku are also said to have happened, the same source suggested that Roku might walk away from any deal, due to Quibi’s proposed revenue split.