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August 2, 2021
PHOTO CREDITS: AFROTECH
The short-video streaming service Quibi is shutting down after just six months, according to CNN.
“We started with the idea to create the next generation of storytelling and because of you, we were able to create and deliver the best version of what we imagined Quibi to be,” co-founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote in an open letter. “So it is with an incredibly heavy heart that today we are announcing that we are winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets.”
Unlike short-form videos from YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok, Quibi’s pitch to consumers was that it offered content created with big production budgets, similar to major series. It raised nearly $2 billion in funding from investors including Disney and Alibaba, and courted top talent like Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Lopez.
Quibi launched in the middle of quarantine, and never quite got off of the ground. Despite a rise in demand for other streaming services, Quibi never found an audience. Subscriptions to the app cost $4.99 per month with ads, and $7.99 without, and consumers just failed to spend time or money on the app.
Within a month of launching, Quibi had roughly 1.3 million active users, which is a tiny portion of the 50 million and 183 million users Disney+ and Netflix had at the time, respectively. Many of whom were still in the 90-day free trial period. The app struggled with mediocre content reviews and the departure of its head of brand and content marketing shortly after its launch.
ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: CONNOR KMIECIK