Jeffrey Katzenberg, the co founder of short form streaming app Quibi, has blamed the platform’s slow uptake by new users since its March launch on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Katzenberg said in an interview with the New York Times: “I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus, everything. But we own it.”
Quibi was launched in March by ex Dreamworks boss Katzenberg and ex Hewlett Packard head Meg Whitman. The service offers 5 to 10 minute shows and had already commissioned content from names including Jennifer Lopez, LeBron James, Idris Elba, Steven Spielberg and Chrissy Teigen. Katzenberg argued that Quibi content was designed for people on the go with little spare time to watch long form content, but with many viewers in lockdown, the service is less attractive.
Quibi is now just the 125th most downloaded free iPhone app and has been installed by roughly 3.5 million users with a 90-day free trial. “Is it the avalanche of people that we wanted and were going for out of launch?” he said to the NY Times. “The answer is no. It’s not up to what we wanted. It’s not close to what we wanted.”
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