by Brandon Butler
Quibi, the hot new video streaming service no one is talking about, except on tech blogs 9/22/2020

David Pierce writing for the Protocol Source Code newsletter today:

Quibi is on the market, The Wall Street Journal reported. It’s considering all options: an acquisition, a SPAC-enabled public listing, maybe even raising more money. Either way, Quibi’s clearly in trouble. It’s fighting a patent lawsuit, hasn’t had a show that’s really permeated culture, and sure isn’t helped by a pandemic that undermined its business model by keeping everybody at home for the first six months of its existence.

Pierce lists a few potential buyers, like Verizon (“Nobody loves a big-name, flailing company more than Verizon!”) but then reveals this eye-opening fact about Quibi I did not know:

There’s (at least) one significant downside to buying Quibi: It doesn’t own its content. It has seven-year licenses on all its shows and movies, but after two years creators can “reassemble” them and run them elsewhere.

Let’s read that again: Quibi spent $2 billion and owns nothing but a stuqid name and some code. Who invested in this?