The short-form service – billed as an “on-the-go” streamer featuring 10-minute-or-less TV episodes – has struggled mightily since its April launch. Quibi is reportedly on track to accrue just 2 million paid subscribers by April 2021, more than 5 million less than its year one projection.
One of the biggest criticisms of the platform at its outset was that despite being designed for mobile, it didn’t support AirPlay or Google Cast. This meant that if you wanted to share a video at home, there was no way to put it on the big screen.
Katzenberg, however, told The New York Times his product’s rough start was entirely due to the pandemic. “I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus,” he said.
But in late May, Chief Product Officer Tom Conrad announced the company had added AirPlay support, and support for Chromecast was added in early June.
According to Variety’s report, Quibi’s negotiations with Amazon have “recently picked back up.” Talks with Roku are reportedly in “very early stages,” with Roku wary of Quibi’s proposed revenue-sharing agreement.
On top of its struggle to catch on, the embattled company is in the midst of a patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets legal battle with interactive video company Eko over the “Turnstyle” technology it uses to allow users to seamlessly flip between vertical and horizontal viewing.