Quibi Exploring "Strategic Options" For Its Future, Including a Possible Sale
Quibi, the short-form streaming service that was met with extreme skepticism from its inception, is facing an uncertain future. A new report indicates that the service is exploring “strategic options” including a potential sale. Who would buy Quibi at this point? I don’t know – maybe if we all start a GoFundMe page we could all go in on it together. Just a thought.
Per a report in the Wall Street Journal:
Streaming service Quibi is exploring several strategic options including a possible sale, according to people familiar with the situation, as the company founded by Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg struggles to sign up subscribers in a competitive online-video marketplace.
Quibi isn’t commenting on the report for now, so there’s nothing here that’s confirmed. However, a Quibi sale wouldn’t exactly be the most surprising bit of news. Quibi’s announcement – a streaming platform that would devote itself to “quick bites” of entertainment that you could watch in ten minutes or less – was met with considerable skepticism. That skepticism only grew when Quibi started announcing some of their programs – shows with titles like Murder House Flip. Then came the launch, which was anything but successful. The app fell out of the list of the 50 most downloaded free iPhone apps in the United States a week after it was released, and other reports indicate the service could lose up to half-a-billion dollars.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, the founder of Quibi, chalked some of the less-than-great April 2020 launch of Quibi on the coronavirus pandemic. The logic being that Quibi was designed as a streaming service for people on the go released into a world where everyone was suddenly staying put. Not helping matters was the fact that Quibi was launched to only be available on people’s phones, making it impossible to watch on a TV.
Of course, none of this is to say Quibi is officially dead and buried. Indeed, the WSJ adds that one of the options being considered is “raising more money or going public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC—essentially a blank-check company that helps fund deals, the people said. Quibi is working with advisers to review its options.”
For now, the only thing spokespeople for the service are publicly saying is that “Quibi has successfully launched a new business and pioneered a new form of storytelling and state-of-the-art platform,” and that “Mr. Katzenberg and Chief Executive Meg Whitman are committed to continuing to build the business in the way that gives the greatest experience for customers, greatest value for shareholders and greatest opportunity for employees.”
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