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posted by janrinok on Tuesday February 25 2020, @04:20PM   Printer-friendly
from the tubey-and-voodoo dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Fox is reportedly eyeing Tubi. [Editor's Note: Tubi is a streaming service.]

Tubi is available in the US, Canada and Australia on Android and iOS, as well as on devices such as Amazon Echo ShowGoogle Nest Hub MaxRoku and Apple TV. Content is also viewable at www.tubi.tv. The company plans to launch in more areas including the UK and Mexico in the coming year.

[...] As more streaming services such as Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus launch to compete with the likes of Netflix, several companies are also looking to free, ad-supported platforms aimed at customers who might not be willing to dish out more money for an ever-growing list of paid offerings.

Last year, it was reported that Walmart could be thinking of selling Vudu, a service that lets customers rent or purchase individual shows or movies. Vudu also launched a free, ad-supported service in 2016. 

Walmart reportedly purchased Vudu for around $100 million in 2010, and says the service is installed on more than 100 million devices in the US. It's not clear if there will be a deal between NBCUniversal and Vudu, people familiar with the matter told The Journal. A Walmart representative declined to comment, but said the company is "constantly having conversations with partners."


Original Submission

Related Stories

Meg Whitman-Run Streaming Service "Quibi" Launches, Reception Mixed 8 comments

Quibi Picked the Worst Time to Launch a Streaming Service for Short Attention Spans - Or maybe the best? (archive)

For months, Quibi, the phone-based streaming service that launched Monday, has been getting roasted by the small group of people whose professions require them to know about the existence of Quibi. The gist of the jokes has been that Quibi sounds like a 30 Rock fiction come to life. The brainchild of billionaire boomers Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, it's predicated on the idea that no one can pay attention any more, so if anything is going to lure the scattered, cellphone-obsessed youth away from the free and varied YouTube content with which they seem generally satisfied, it's high production values that you can't really see on a cellphone and the imprimatur of celebrities grandparents have heard of. Quibi has gone on a buying spree for every famous person in Hollywood's leftover ideas, which have been turned into "quick bites" of six to 10 minutes apiece. The company has already raised $1.75 billion dollars, on the strength of that idea and a slate that includes a reality show called Murder House Flip.

As someone who has not been above a Quibi joke herself, I am disappointed to report that Quibi is neither a glorious embarrassment nor a surprising triumph. It is, instead, expensively competent. The dozens of star-studded series it debuts with are, in general, solid and professional, and tend toward uplifting but brief documentaries I could totally imagine spacing out to in a waiting room. (The fact that almost no one on the planet Earth is spacing out in a waiting room right now is another Quibi punchline.) The implicit assumption of Quibi is that no one has any time anymore, even, say, for a 22-minute sitcom. And yet it is arriving at a moment when a majority of Americans have more time than they had weeks ago—if also, perhaps, even more shredded attention spans.

Quibi review – shortform sub-Netflix shows aren't long for this world

The Fall of Quibi: How Did a Starry $1.75bn Netflix Rival Crash So Fast? 29 comments

From The Guardian:

Nearly three months ago, in early April, the $1.75bn content experiment known as Quibi lurched from its rocky, much-maligned promotional campaign into full-scale launch. The service offered a tsunami of celebrity-fronted shows segmented into "quick bites" (hence, "qui-bi") of 10 minutes or less – a Joe Jonas talk show, a documentary on LeBron James's I Promise school, a movie with Game of Thrones's Sophie Turner surviving a plane crash, all straight to your phone. At the time, many of us wondered if Quibi could deliver on its central promise – to refashion the style of streaming into "snackable" bites – or if, teetering under the weight of its massive funding and true who's who of talent as the world shut down, it would become shorthand for an expensive mistake.

The service, the brainchild of the DreamWorks Animation cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg and the former Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman – two billionaires deeply entrenched in Hollywood and Silicon Valley establishment – was "either going to be a huge home run or a massive swing and a miss," Michael Goodman, a media analyst with Strategy Analytics, told the Guardian. Given a string of bad news since its 6 April launch – missed targets, executive departures, Katzenberg singularly blaming the pandemic – and the sunset of its 90-day free trial with millions fewer subscribers than anticipated, the scales seemed decidedly tipped toward swing and miss. But while it's too soon to declare the end of Quibi, it's still worth asking: is the promise of the quick bite already over? And what went so wrong?

Previously: Meg Whitman-Run Streaming Service "Quibi" Launches, Reception Mixed

Related: Fox Could Buy Tubi While NBCUniversal Eyes Vudu


Original Submission

Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman Announce Impending Death of "Quibi" Streaming Service 26 comments

Quibi is dead, reports say

Plagued with growth issues, Quibi, a short-form mobile-native video platform, is shutting down, according to multiple reports. The startup, co-founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, had raised nearly $2 billion in its lifetime as a private company. Quibi did not respond to requests for comment from TechCrunch.

The company's prolific fundraising efforts spanned prominent institutions in private equity, venture capital and Hollywood, all betting on Katzenberg's ability to deliver another hit. The startup's backers included Alibaba, Madrone Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, as well as Disney, Sony Pictures, Viacom, WarnerMedia and MGM, among others. The Information reports that Quibi will have $350 million left to return to shareholders.

Their pitch was highly produced bite-sized content, packed with Hollywood star power, and designed to be "mobile-first" entertainment. For the YouTubes and Snaps of the world, producing mainstream content on a shoestring budget, Quibi wanted to be an HBO for smartphones. Investors and pundits questioned the firm's ability to monetize this vision, and it became clear soon after launch that the company had miscalculated.

[...] Admitting that the launch hadn't gone as planned, Katzenberg blamed the coronavirus for the streaming app's challenges.

One problem with finding a buyer: Quibi doesn't even own most of its original "content":

Actually, Quibi doesn't own any of the big-budget premium content for which it has shelled out upwards of $100,000 per minute. The company has seven-year licenses on its short-form series; after two years, content owners have the right to assemble the shows and distribute them elsewhere.

An open letter to the employees, investors, and partners who believed in Quibi and made this business possible —

Also at The Verge, Business Insider, Ars Technica, and MarketWatch.

Previously: Meg Whitman-Run Streaming Service "Quibi" Launches, Reception Mixed
The Fall of Quibi: How Did a Starry $1.75bn Netflix Rival Crash So Fast?

Related: Fox Could Buy Tubi While NBCUniversal Eyes Vudu


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday February 25 2020, @04:30PM (5 children)

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Tuesday February 25 2020, @04:30PM (#962420) Homepage

    Tubi Vudu Caca Pupu Peepee! What the fuck am I reading, the dialogue from Star Wars Episode I?

    Seriously though, Silicon valley naming trends are pure cancer. I remember being in a software engineering class and the professor proposed making a "shortest path" map app using a map of the campus. He asked the class to name the project. I proposed "Pathfinder." Doesn't that sound cool? Then the class tool proposed "Mapr" because Flickr and names like it were the trend at the time. Being more of a businessman than a coder, the professor chose to use the name "Mapr" literally because that was what was trendy at the time and to him it made better sense.

    The class tool, by the way, proposed that a Regex parser be added in a Winamp-style music app to search for media. Way overkill and I wonder if he knew RegEx in the first place or was just trying to sound smart.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Tuesday February 25 2020, @05:01PM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday February 25 2020, @05:01PM (#962441) Journal

      They might as well call it PooDoo [fandom.com], because 75% of these streaming services are going to go bankrupt, get shut down, or merge into the larger ones.

      The one I'll be watching closely is the MILLENNIAL-OPTIMIZED Quibi [soylentnews.org], which has Meg Whitman of all people running captaining it. They splurged on a Super Bowl ad:

      Quibi knows you have no idea what Quibi is [qz.com]

      The upcoming mobile streaming service, debuting April 6 in North America, aired its first national ad in the United States during the Super Bowl last night, attempting to add its quirky name to the cultural lexicon. “I’ll be there in a Quibi,” radios the getaway driver for a bank heist as his partners wait for pickup. “A what?!” one of them asks. “A Quibi,” the driver replies, “less than ten minutes.”

      Quibi’s pitch is that its content can be consumed in short, easy spurts on the go, while still boasting Hollywood-level production and A-list talent. (The made-up word is a portmanteau of “quick bites.”) Available only on phones, the app will stream a variety of shows to subscribers, from a reality series hosted by Chrissy Teigen to a horror anthology show created by Steven Spielberg.

      [...] The $5.6 million for 30 seconds of Super Bowl ad time was a small price to pay for Quibi, which has secured more than $1 billion in funding from companies like Disney, WarnerMedia, and Alibaba. Its founder, Jeffrey Katzenberg, used to run Disney’s film studio in the 1980s and early 1990s. Its CEO, Meg Whitman, once served in the same position at both Hewlett Packard and eBay.

      [...] But hardly anyone knows this yet. After the Super Bowl ad aired, Twitter was filled with reactions from viewers saying they still didn’t really get what, exactly, Quibi was. “We have to build a brand—no one’s heard of Quibi—and we have to build the use case,” Whitman said at the 2020 Upfront Summit in Los Angeles last week.

      The Streaming Wars are going to show us some glorious, spectacular multi-billion-dollar failures. Which will possibly be more entertaining to watch than the content they host.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @07:05PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @07:05PM (#962490)

      The class tool, by the way, proposed that a Regex parser be added in a Winamp-style music app to search for media.

      Did you ever realize your dream?

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @11:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @11:22PM (#962599)

        It really whipped the llama's ass.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @07:10PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @07:10PM (#962494)

      You forgot the Fukme streaming service. Also /. is starting a goatse channel with only one title. In the end, I'm sure Amazon will own everything anyway.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @07:25PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @07:25PM (#962504)

        Pretty much, eventually anybody not owned by one of the content producing corporations or Telecoms will likely be out of business. Mostly because the regulators are packed with people that used to work in the industry and have precisely no interest in ensuring that the people have access for an affordable price.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by MostCynical on Wednesday February 26 2020, @02:25AM (1 child)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Wednesday February 26 2020, @02:25AM (#962686) Journal

    "Ad-supported" is not 'free'

    --
    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @03:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @03:05AM (#962704)

      Shit up and eat your gruel!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2020, @01:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2020, @01:14AM (#963258)
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