After only six months in operation and having raised nearly $2 billion in funding, Quibi is shutting down, this according to founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman. They wrote in a public letter that “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.” They plan to return cash to shareholders, lay off employees as part of the shutdown, and look for buyers for its assets. Katzenberg’s noble ambition, after he sold DreamWorks Animation to NBCUniversal in 2016, was to launch a mobile-first video business with premium short form content to lure subscribers with the works of such high profile filmmakers as Antoine Fuqua, Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro and Catherine Hardwicke. In fact, several Quibi projects were nominated for short-form Emmy awards with two trophies going to Antoine Fuqua’s #FreeRayshawn. In an unfortunate turn of events, the Quibi launch coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, which quarantined potential subscribers at home where they preferred to watch TV. One of the few outlets for paid short form content, the service will surely be missed by Indie Filmmakers.
A Short Life For the Purveyor of Short Films – Quibi to Shut Down
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