Sometimes my skepticism proves on point. In January I expressed doubts about success for political titan Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi streaming venture. My doubt was influenced by the fact Meg Whitman would help “lead” the startup. Now Quibi is belly up but one thing is for sure.
Katzenberg will retain his power as a major political actor in our country and in China, and Meg Whitman will just keep on keeping on.
It’s ironic that the venture spearheaded by an influential Democrat fundraiser and power figure and by Whitman who labels herself a Republican would fail so quickly. Between the two of them you’d think they’d have things nice and tidy considering the fact they enjoy flexibility most of us don’t have. Imagine yourself getting caught not only employing someone in the country illegally but facing allegations you treated that person poorly too.
Quibi may have been ahead of its time, but one problem I have with any video streaming is that whatever device I’m on impacts the quality of my viewing. My Samsung phone is always nearby, but many vids just don’t translate well to a small mobile device—I see so much more on my laptop or even my notebook.
That aside, you had to pay for Quibi. Why do that when you can tune into YouTube, Facebook, and other Web venues and stay mesmerized all day long for free?
Variety magazine announced the death throes for Quibi, noting the startup lasted less than a year. The Wrap reported a video platform in China made a “no-cash” offer.
Katzenberg and Whitman both have money to burn, so it isn’t like this failure will set either of them back. Both of them are well-connected in politics, and Katzenberg who isn’t registered as any kind of lobbyist will be in the catbird’s seat once election results are officially tallied and a Democrat takes the White House. I wouldn’t recommend an average American work deals with a foreign country, but it seems to have taken no toll on Katzenberg’s wellbeing. He and controlling interests in China, a country in the steel grip of the Communist Party there, will probably continue to make lots of money together. Hollywood, USA is beholding to China in a big kind of way.
Potential for profits in China has led many US “leaders” to turn a blind eye to that country’s political regime and its brutal oppression of freedom. Next time you hear media downplay the power of the Communist Party of China, remind yourself it’s all about the bucks.
To read the first article I wrote about Quibi, go here.
(Kay B. Day; December 2, 2020)