• +86 188-0018-6806
  • harveyyan@zhongyinlawyer.com



By Benjamin Mullin, Joe Flint and Maureen FarrellUpdated Oct. 22, 2020 9:12 am ET Wall Street Journal

Quibi Holdings LLC is shutting down a mere six months after launching its streaming service, a crash landing for a once highly touted startup that attracted some of the biggest names in Hollywood and had looked to revolutionize how people consume entertainment.

The streaming service, which served up shows in 5- to 10-minute “chapters” formatted to fit a smartphone screen, has been plagued with problems since its April debut, facing lower-than-expected viewership and a lawsuit from a well-capitalized foe.

“Our failure was not for lack of trying,” founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and Chief Executive Meg Whitman said in an open letter to employees and investors. “We’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us.”

Mr. Katzenberg and Ms. Whitman decided to shut down the company in an effort to return as much capital to investors as possible instead of trying to prolong the life of the company and risk losing more money, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Employees will be laid off and will be paid a severance, the people said, and Quibi will explore selling the rights to some of its content to other media and technology companies.

During a video call with employees Wednesday, an emotional Mr. Katzenberg suggested Quibi staffers listen to the song “Get Back Up Again,” sung by actress Anna Kendrick in the animated film “Trolls,” to buoy their spirits, according to people familiar with the call.

The decision marks a disappointing turn of events for Mr. Katzenberg, a former Walt Disney Co. executive and DreamWorks co-founder who pitched the streaming service as a revolutionary new entrant to the video-streaming wars.

Quibi was designed for people who consume entertainment in short increments on their smartphones, but the coronavirus pandemic forced would-be subscribers away from the kinds of on-the-go situations Quibi executives envisioned for its users. Quibi eventually allowed subscribers to watch its shows on their televisions.


Even before the Covid-19 crisis, Quibi had its share of skeptics in the media world, because consumers already had free options for short-form video, such as Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube. Quibi’s bet was that it could charge subscriptions by creating higher-end content, and it paid handsomely to develop that programming. Some Quibi executives believed the venture could have been a success, if not for the pandemic, with better execution, pointing to the rise of TikTok, people close to the company said. Some of them believed, for example, that Quibi could pivot to what is known as a freemium model, offering some content free while making customers pay for the top programming.

Quibi, which cost $4.99 a month, also had to compete with a growing number of rivals, with launches of Walt Disney’s Disney+, Apple Inc.’sApple TV+, AT&T Inc.’s HBO Max and ComcastCorp.’s Peacock all occurring in the past year.

阅读全文 →
Harvey Yan


%d 博主赞过: