Short-form streamer Quibi has launched in Australia and New Zealand and, in a move which acts counter to previous statements from the company, is offering a free ad-supported tier.
The SVOD, which first launched in the US and Canada at the beginning of April, has to date only offered a $5 per month ad-supported service or $8 per month for ad-free product.
In an email sent to users in Australia and New Zealand, the company said that it is “now offering an ad-supported free plan so you can choose the right option for you.”
Quibi also said that it is halving the price of its subscription tier from A$12.99 ($9.34) per month to $6.99 per month, though it is unclear whether this offering is ad-supported or ad-free. The streamer has endured a disappointing start since its roll-out three months ago, converting less than 10% of free trial users.
In comments made to Gizmodo, a spokesperson for the company said that it would assess the viability of different business models on a market-by-market basis, so it remains to be seen whether a free tier is likely to be introduced in the US or indeed in any international expansion.
Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has been quick to blame Quibi’s poor performance on the coronavirus pandemic, with viewers staying at home being antithetical to its pick-up-and-go business model. However, the introduction of a free tier may go some way to convince users that Quibi is an essential service for them to use.