From the Bigger they come dept.
From initial announcement of the high level duo of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and Hollywood Mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg there was always something unlikely about Quibi.
In some ways like “WeWork” for streaming – at least in the hype and over-financing department, the concept of reinventing the way that stories are told on screens and arbitrarily cutting all traditional sizes into 10 minute “bites” (quick-bites, hence the wonky name) seemed from day-one, to many, as a dubious goal.
Not only driven by outdated thinking on the creative-business axis: stars-only, big money leading the way, astronomical budgets, virtually no one involved with a current digital media background, in some ways its shocking it lasted this long.
Quibi Holdings LLC, which according to the WSJ article, had raised 1.75 billion in start-up capital is shutting itself down.
A lawsuit from a tech company who claims ownership of the streaming tech used by the service, in particular the “turn style” feature, where the videos could be watched either in landscape mode or portrait, with the viewer able to switch back and forth at any time. Interactive-video company Eko initiated a lawsuit with the help of Elliot Management.
This is a better, more plausible, reason, in addition to the lack of interest from viewers, than using the pandemic and the timing of the initial launch coming during lock-down as an excuse.
Although Quibi attracted major advertisers and achieved a pre-sale of $150 million in booked ad-revenue, ahead of the initial launch, payments where predicated, as is typical, on viewership numbers which never materialized.
This news is yet another indicator of the incredibly volatile nature of the online video market, and is a harbinger of likely many more shake-ups and flame-outs in the near future…
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