The first rule of Quibi: You don’t talk about Quibi. The second rule of Quibi: Fine, you can talk about Quibi, but you can’t, like, tell anyone that you’re talking about Quibi. A podcast recently learned the rules the hard way when they received a cease-a-desist from the new billion-dollar streaming platform, per an interview that the creators had with Leigh Blickley at HuffPost.
Rob Dezendorf and Danielle Gibson started a show formerly called Quibiverse, a fan space to discuss the various “quick bite” content offered by the new streamer. However, the creators say that after 17 episodes, they were sent a cease-and-desist. Per Dezendoorf: “They were like, ‘Well, you can’t use the name Quibi, you can’t tell anyone that you’re about Quibi, you can talk about Quibi, but no one can know through your title and you can’t have any artwork that resembles our stuff.’” Gibson added: “It just felt so surreal to get a cease-and-desist from a billion-dollar company, about our fan podcast, in the midst of a global health crisis.”
The podcast has responded to the order by changing its name—you can now call them Streamiverse—and its objective, switching from a largely complementary show to a podcast that is, in Gibson’s words, “strictly about spite and revenge.” Unable to resist a good Tiger King reference, Dezendorf described the now-fraught relationship by saying, “We consider ourselves the Joe Exotic to Carole Baskin [in this case].”
The timing of such a preventative measure is odd not only because of the pandemic, but also because the mobile-driven platform could use as much positive press as it can muster: Despite an impressive roster of A-list involvement, the week two metrics show a lack of engagement. Also, the one viral moment the internet has seen from the platform came from the golden arm episode of 50 States Of Fear, which has only sparked jest and confusion. As of now, Quibi has yet to comment on the order.