For an unproven service to attract 1.3 million active users in its first five weeks is impressive. But by its own account, Quibi’s launch underwhelmed.
Sizeable subscriber targets—7 million by year one and 16 million by year three—justify a level of spend never seen in short-form video, but are ambitious for an experimental start-up with limited brand equity.
The service’s failure to recognise the social side of mobile media, restricted use case and, critically, lack of a hit show increased scepticism of product/market fit. Now Quibi must adapt the product with knowledge of user preferences and reassess its targets, provided it can afford to do so.
Vodafone’s financial metrics appear to be slowly ticking up and it is making some progress in narrowing its performance gap to peers. Signs that it may be moving away from a discount-led convergence strategy in Germany are very positive.
Organic EBITDA growth is highly flattered by one-off items and, as is frequently the case, even this headline EBITDA growth for FY20 is wiped out by currency depreciation in ‘Rest of World’ countries.
This lack of real progress on EBITDA and FCF and the muted outlook for both exacerbates Vodafone’s tight leverage position. There seems very little prospect of it unsettling the O2/Virgin Media JV in the UK.
Sky posted understandably weak results for Q1, amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Revenue fell by 3.7% year-on-year, with most sports subscriptions on pause and advertising markets in shock.
The company has guided to a 60% fall in EBITDA over the next two quarters, as it bears the extra costs of a very condensed sporting schedule, but much will depend on what level of rebate it negotiates from the rightsowners for the disruption.
On screen, Sky faces similar production issues to other broadcasters, but it has continued to enhance its platform gatekeeper role and strong content offering, most recently by integrating Disney+.