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Jeffrey Katzenberg on the spectacular rise and fall of Quibi: ‘I’m proud of my failure’

Jeffrey Katzenberg Took a Big Swing at the Streaming Biz with Quibi — and Startups Despite Shut down just six months after launchHe says he is still proud of the effort.

Katzenberg, an investor, Hollywood producer and former top studio head, co-founded Quibi with former eBay and Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman. The streaming service positioned itself as the HBO of short-form mobile video and raised $1.75 billion before closing its doors in late 2020 after failing to attract subscribers.

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Katzenberg reflected on Quibi in an interview with LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky on the latest episode of the business-focused social network’s “The Path” series. “I am humbled by failure,” said Katzenberg. “But I’m proud that what we tried was a moonshot.”

Katzenberg said that during his career, “owning my failures is just as important, or in fact more[important]than owning my successes.” About taking risks with Quibi, he said, “I pride myself on failure. I am not proud of failure. But I am proud of what we tried. It was a moon. Failing wasn’t fun – I don’t recommend it – but it’s going to come. (See interview with Katzenberg on LinkedIn.) this link,

Quibi, a portmanteau of “Quick Bites” announced In October 2020 that it will be closed, This came after it debuted in April of that year – on the front end of the global COVID pandemic – with a service that cost $4.99/month with ads and $7.99/month without ads. Quibi, which had about 200 employees, paid top dollar for dozens of original series from big-name talent. In January 2021, Roku paid less than $100 million For Quibi’s assets,

Earlier in his career, Katzenberg co-founded and led DreamWorks Animation after being fired as head of Walt Disney Studios and was studio chief at Paramount Pictures. In a LinkedIn interview, Katzenberg discusses the unremarkable jobs at Paramount that served as building blocks for his future achievements. The exec said that working at the studio (then headed by Barry Diller) was frustrating at first because there was so much moving around the business – in marketing, distribution and business matters – before he could move on.

“It frustrated me and in some cases really bothered me, but I always felt like I was growing,” Katzenberg recalled. “As long as you feel like you’re learning and you’re growing, just keep going with it. And then they made me the president of the movie studio.”

In any job, Katzenberg said, it’s important to exceed expectations. “Every job I got—and it didn’t matter if it was to go get a cup of coffee—it was very simple: Do better than they thought you would,” he said. “And I realized that the more I exceeded the expectations of the people I worked for, the more the rewards came.” As such, Katzenberg said, “I want to be a better leader than the people who work for me think.”

Katzenberg founded Quibi (code-name “new tv”) Afterwards He sold DreamWorks Animation to Comcast in 2016, Their hypothesis was that, given the rise in mobile video viewing, a significant number of smartphone users would pay for a premium mobile TV service, with content divided into episodes of less than 10 minutes. But Quibi couldn’t persuade enough consumers to pay for the service, because free short-form content was already abundant on mobile apps and because people stayed home during the pandemic and enjoyed entertainment on their TVs. Used to take

Before Quibi went under, Katzenberg paid $6 million an hour for programming from A-listers including Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Jennifer Lopez, Sam Raimi, Reese Witherspoon, Antoine Fuqua, Lena Waithe, Kevin Hart and Steven Soderbergh. claimed to do. , According to estimates by research firm Kantar, Quibi reached 710,000 subscriber households in the third quarter of 2020; The company expected to sign up more than 7 million paying customers in its first year.

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