While other streaming services are putting up record numbers, Quibi has struggled to find its footing in an ever-growing marketplace of OTT services. Despite launching in a golden age of content, the service that focuses on "quick bites" of programming has secured just 1.5 million subscribers since its launch and in one recent interview, co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg blamed the service's woes on the coronavirus pandemic.
"I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus,” Katzenberg told the New York Times. “Everything. But we own it.”
“Is it the avalanche of people that we wanted and were going for out of launch?” he added. “The answer is no. It’s not up to what we wanted. It’s not close to what we wanted. If we knew on March 1, which is when we had to make the call, what we know today, you would say that is not a good idea. The answer is, it’s regrettable. But we are making enough gold out of hay here that I don’t regret it.”
Suffice to say, Twitter users aren't especially thrilled with the executive blaming the coronavirus, despite all other stream platforms seeing massive gains. Keep scrolling to see what tweets are saying...
he's right, a pandemic resulting in millions of people with short attention spans stuck at home all day bored and desperate to be entertained was EXACTLY the scenario Quibi didn't want https://t.co/QZHWcxJWrW— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) May 12, 2020
Jeffrey Katzenberg blaming COVID-19 for his Quibi streaming service not going well when that is the thing keeping everyone home, watching streaming services and on demand in record breaking droves, might be one of the dumbest quotes I've read this entire year... pic.twitter.com/sbYUR85X3q— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) May 12, 2020
When did I know #Quibi was a disaster? About a month ago, when they started threatening legal action against independent podcasts that wanted to review and promote Quibi shows. FREE marketing and audience building for them. What a busload of dipshits. $1.8 BILLION down the drain— Kevin Harmon (@imadness) May 12, 2020
And frankly, its media campaign to promote it hasn't exactly set the world ablaze. It was commercials on Youtube intended to make "Quibi" into a regular thing people say, like "We'll be there in a quibi!" which is both dumb and not how human beings talk. https://t.co/EFekHDtFbL— Linkara (@Linkara19) May 12, 2020
Quibi's CEO is blaming the app's problems on covid, but IMO it was obvious *months in advance* why Quibi was doomed to fail. https://t.co/kOcdAoSlb6— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Hello_Tailor) May 12, 2020
The Last Dance
When Jeffrey Katzenberg blames the failure of Quibi on the coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/2KbDLr0ivb— Josh Spiegel (@mousterpiece) May 12, 2020
Quibi made the biggest mistake in film/tv, and it’s a surprise given how successful the founders are. It’s ALWAYS better to be the top priority project for upcoming talent than the lowest priority project for big established talent. A huge strategic creative development error.— Keith Calder (@keithcalder) May 12, 2020