The platform didn’t quite take offDespite some early initial success, the platform never quite took off compared to expectations. The app was downloaded by roughly 4.5 million users with 1.6 million active subscribers. Unfortunately, according to a story from The Verge, over 90 percent of subscribers would leave after their free 90-day trial. Although the platform would launch 175 original programs, just over half of those were already available. This would include a revival of former Comedy Central comedic show Reno 911!. The platform also would appear to garner as much attention from Millennials, with a maximum episode length of 10 minutes. This would be a primary reason to attract top talent to its service, including Chrissy Teigen, Anna Kendrick, Sam Raimi, Idris Elba, Jennifer Lopez, and Stephen Curry. However, this would not be enough to keep a consistent number of subscribers. The subscription model would have a $4.99 monthly option with ads. However, a $7.99 monthly option was available for an ad-free experience.
An ongoing lawsuit is likely another contributor to Quibi’s demiseAn interactive video developer by the name of Eko would file a lawsuit in March. Its allegation in the suit: Quibi knowingly stole proprietary tech following the company’s demonstration to Quibi’s employees, including Katzenberg. Quibi filed their own lawsuit one day prior, seeking a declaration that they did not infringe on Eko’s patented technology. Additionally, they would request a court over demanding that Eko withdraw a complaint with Apple’s App Store and monetary damages that are unknown. Those lawsuits are Quibi Holdings LLC v. Interlude US Inc (dba Eko) and JBF Interlude 2009 Ltd – Israel v. Quibi Holdings LLC. Both lawsuits are being heard in the U.S. District Court in California’s Central District.
Quibi closure leaves yet-to-debut shows in limboThe sudden closure leaves many yet-to-debut shows that are now in limbo. One of these programs was the Legends of the Hidden Temple reboot, which was in the planning stages. Production is now up in the air. Not included in the release was any kind of announcement regarding other lifelines for these shows. Also, there was nothing specifically mentioned about how to watch seasons of cult hits that were already broadcast on Quibi.
Quibi’s historyThe platform wasn’t always Quibi. The company was originally NewTV in August 2018. It wasn’t until two months later that it was renamed as Quibi. In 2018, the platform would raise $1 billion in a funding round. Most of that funding came from major Hollywood film studios, television, telecom and tech companies. Other funders would include banks and other investors. Additionally, BBC Studios would become an investor in Quibi in July 2019. A March partnership with Canadian telecom company BCE would allow its Bell Media division to produce Canadian-oriented news and sports content. This content would come from CTV and TSN respectively. BCE’s Bell Mobility would serve as the exclusive telecom marketing partner in Canada. The public launch of the platform was on April 6, 2020, mostly available in six countries.
Not exactly a wasted effortQuibi would receive nominations for ten Emmy Awards across three categories. Those categories are Outstanding Short Form Comedy/Drama Series, Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy/Drama Series, and Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy/Drama Series. Exclusive series #FreeRayshawn would win two Emmys during the awards show on September 20. The story is a compilation of stories from The Wall Street Journal, IGN, Gamespot, UPI, and Wikipedia.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.