Quibi, the long-anticipated mobile video service from the mind of Jeffrey Katzenberg and led by CEO Meg Whitmas, has axed a splashy launch event as fears surrounding coronavirus continue to snowball.
“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,” a spokesperson for the streamer told Variety. “Supporting the health and well-being of everyone involved is our top priority.”
The three-hour event was supposed to be held the day prior, per Variety, on April 5 at the 3Labs venue in Culver City. While it is unclear which celebrities were slated to attend the launch event, Quibi programming involves a who’s-who of top behind-the-scenes luminaries, digital creators, and Hollywood stars, including Kendall Jenner, Liza Koshy, the Russo brothers, Sophie Turner, Darren Criss, Liam Hemsworth, and more.
Other industry events that have been scrapped due to coronovirus include SXSW and Facebook‘s annual F8 developer conference.
Quibi will launch with 51 films and TV shows. The streamer recently closed a second funding round of $750 million, which it will harness to bolster its content portfolio, bringing total funds raised to $1.75 billion. Quibi be releasing 175 original shows and 8,500 episodes in its first year of operation. Two subscription tiers are available: $5 monthly with ads, and $8 monthly without ads. The service will also launch with a generous free trial offer of 90 days for those who sign up before April 6.