Despite a report from the Wall Street Journal, Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg claim no layoffs will be made.
Just two months after Quibi launched, seemingly a lack of user growth has lead to the company slashing the pay of senior executives by 10%.
Quibi seemed promising pre-launch, founded by ex-Walt Disney Studio chairman Katzenberg and led by CEO Meg Whitman ex-president of Hewlett Packard. The video streaming service promised to deliver short-form 5-10 minute episodes to mobile devices. Quibi raised $1.8 billion in funding from Hollywood studios and tech giants, spending $1bn on original shows.
After launching April 6th, the app managed to gain a promising amount of users in the first few weeks with its three-month free trial, however just one month after launch, Quibi failed to gain the amount of traction it had expected, with Katzenberg blaming coronavirus for the lack of users. “I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus. Everything.” Quibi running into a shortage of user growth, where none of their free trials have expired is certainly unsettling for the company.
While many industries have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming videos is up 25%, with millions stuck at home looking for entertainment.
A report from the Wall Street Journal claims a source said the company is considering laying off 10% of its 250 person workforce. Katzenberg claims in a memo to staff the company is in excellent financial position:
We are not laying off staff as part of cost-saving measures. We’ve recently added a dozen new Quibi employees.Jeffrey Katzenberg – Founder of Quibi