Much has been written about Quibi — the streaming video service launched a few weeks ago by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman. The central conceit of the platform was that it was premised upon shortform, mobile-first videos – “quick bites,” thus the name Quibi. Unfortunately for its creators, Quibi has largely been a flop.
Which makes it all the more interesting that Disney sent the below email today.
An obvious problem with Quibi was that it commissioned a great deal of expensive platform specific-content — it recruited top-line Hollywood talent and spent (what seems like) quite a lot on marketing. All of this was centered around the idea that folks would pay a few bucks a month to have something to watch while brewing their coffee or waiting for the bus to show. Quibi was an expensive endeavor that seems unlikely to pay off.
What Disney has done here is demonstrate that it can effectively repackage pre-existing content to fit the short video core value proposition. Disney posts the original, full-length films, but it also offers Pixar pre-film shorts, or mini spinoffs, that better suit short attention spans of both adults and children. The fact that this email was broken down into “three minute” and “seven minute” chunks is pretty darn unsubtle.
To wit, Disney+ is home to a great deal of legacy content — everything from Snow White to Cars to Hamilton — and uses that library to drive brand affinity for non-digital properties: merchandise, new movies, Disneyland, etc. Remixing legacy content in short form is another spoke in that wheel.
I do wonder why Disney didn’t send this email, say, several weeks ago, right when Quibi launched, but it’s nonetheless an interesting “flex” that demonstrates Disney’s incredibly deep well of content, as well as their evolving understanding of how to leverage that content across various channels.