Quibi, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s great bet on short-form content, has cancelled its US launch party in Los Angeles in April due to coronavirus concerns.
The US launch itself is still on schedule for April 6.
In a statement released on Monday (March 9) a Quibi spokeswoman said, “While we look forward to launching the Quibi app on April 6, we have decided to cancel our pre-launch event party out of an abundance of caution as we continue to monitor COVID-19. Supporting the health and well-being of everyone involved is our top priority.”
The party cancellation, while not as serious as other moves by media events, festivals and markets, marks the latest development in the unfolding coronavirus saga.
SXSW said last week it was cancelling its 2020 iteration, while MIPTV in Cannes has cancelled this year, and Filmart organisers in Hong Kong have put back the market from March to August.
At time of writing Cannes Film Festival remained confident the festival and market would still go ahead. CinemaCon issued a bullish statement last week saying it was planning to go ahead in late March in Las Vegas.
Quibi’s initial launch slate includes Liam Hemsworth adventure series Most Dangerous Game, Will Forte comedy Flipped (pictured), and Sophie Turner thriller Survive. The service aims to release 175 original shows and 8,500 “quick bites” of content in its first year.