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COVID-19 Crisis: Quibi Launches During a Pandemic & More Top Insights

4 MINUTE READ | April 6, 2020

COVID-19 Crisis: Quibi Launches During a Pandemic & More Top Insights

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Abby Long

Abby is PMG’s senior managing editor, where she leads the company’s editorial program and manages the PMG Blog and Insights Hub. As a writer, editor, and marketing communications strategist with nearly a decade of experience, Abby's work in showcasing PMG’s unique expertise through POVs, research reports, and thought leadership regularly informs business strategy and media investments for some of the most iconic brands in the world. Named among the AAF Dallas 32 Under 32, her expertise in advertising, media strategy, and consumer trends has been featured in Ad Age, Business Insider, and Digiday.

Another weekend of bread baking and social distancing has come and gone. I hope you spent time doing something you truly enjoy and were able to head outside for some fresh air. In today’s briefing, we’ve rounded up the news and developments you might have missed over the weekend. 

  • Weekend in Review

  • International Headlines

  • Advertising & Marketing News

On Friday, the CDC recommended that Americans wear face masks when leaving home, calling for the creation of face masks at home in order to make medical masks available for frontline workers. American manufacturers (3M and GM, to name a few) are under extraordinary social pressure and legal scrutiny as the U.S. Administration ordered them not to export any emergency supplies or PPE orders to other countries. 

The U.S. Administration also warned that this week and next will be the toughest ones yet, America’s “Pearl Harbor” moment. Military medical personnel are being deployed to the cities hit hardest by the pandemic, temporary hospitals are being opened, and the number of confirmed cases and deaths is expected to increase dramatically in the days to come. The F.D.A. approved the first coronavirus antibody test in the U.S. last week. 

Over the weekend, a 4-year old tiger tested positive for the coronavirus at the Bronx Zoo after interacting with an asymptomatic zookeeper. More big companies are shifting their assembly lines to create emergency supplies. The latest being Apple, with CEO Tim Cook announced the company has drummed up 20M face masks across its global supply chain and will be ramping up production to produce one million face masks a week. The first masks were shipped to local hospitals in Northern California. 

Similarly, Tesla posted footage to YouTube showing a prototype ventilator that’s being created with auto parts, including the touch screen and control system from a Model 3 electric car. 

Medical communities in Italy and Australia remain hopeful that the worst has passed after two consecutive days of decreased caseloads while experts are still trying to understand how Germany has the lowest death rate out of its peers (plus a drop in new cases since Saturday). Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized for coronavirus testing, and Queen Elizabeth II held a special address urging Britains to rally together. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to declare the country’s first state of emergency. 

In case you missed it on Friday, Cannes was officially canceled, and Amazon will be delaying its annual Prime Day until August. Over half a million businesses have inquired for specifics over Facebook’s promise to provide $100 million in cash grants to small businesses; applications are set to open this week. Thousands of workers and school districts, including the New York City school system, are moving away from Zoom after security and privacy concerns led to an FBI warning.

According to Ad Age, the second quarter is expected to bring more challenges to advertisers, but more specifically to the ad tech space. The IAB reports that nearly a quarter of media buyers and brands “have canceled their ad spend for the second quarter,” likely resulting in company closures due to the delayed standard of payment across the ad tech supply chain.

The much-anticipated Quibi launches in the U.S. today. The new streaming platform will offer “quick bites” with movies, news, and reality shows for mobile viewing that span no more than ten minutes and is chock-full of celebrity talent. Founded and led by legendary media executives Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, the mobile streaming platform raised $1.8B in funding, and its first year of ad inventory is already sold out, totaling $1.5M last fall. It boasts a 90-day free trial, then after that: $5/ month with ads, and $8/month ad-free. 

Initially created for those quick windows of downtime (on the subway, in the waiting room, etc.) when you’re on the go, all eyes are on the app store as analysts are curious if the outbreak and subsequent economic lockdown will impact Quibi’s launch. (Especially when you consider that billions of people are sitting at home with plenty of video streaming options available to them on much larger screens.) 

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Perhaps the biggest questions on everyone’s mind are, what will change, when will the economy restart, and what comes next after the pandemic ends? A few notable insights came from the annual letter to shareholders from JPMorgan Chase’s CEO and McKinsey & Company that we recommend reading to answer those questions.