Quibi is Shutting Down Streaming Service

Yolanda Curtis
October 23, 2020

The timing of Quibi's launch not only coincided with the global coronavirus pandemic, but also with the meteoric rise of TikTok - which largely served the same function and for free.

Created to ride a wave of mobile video viewing, content was delivered in "quick bites", made in both horizontal and vertical formats, automatically flipping between the two as viewers rotate their phones. In the third quarter of 2020, Quibi reportedly reaches 710,000 subscriber households, down 300,000 from the second quarter.

"With the dedication and commitment of our employees and the support we received from our investors and partners, we created a new form of mobile-first premium storytelling", Mr Katzenberg said in an open letter to shareholders and users. "We were not able to do so", they wrote.

Streaming service Quibi said on Wednesday it intends to wind down its operations and start a process to sell its assets, just six months after its launch.

The fledgling platform scored 10 Emmy nominations this year, including for cop spoof revival Reno 911! and dystopian thriller Most Dangerous Game.

The multi-billion-dollar streaming platform launched in April, betting it could transform entertainment with short, Hollywood-quality clips to watch "on the go" - even as much of the world was trapped at home.

The company doesn't release subscriber figures, but U.S. mobile research firm Sensor Tower estimated Quibi's mobile app had 9.6 million installations since its launch.

With Katzenberg at the helm, the service had a massive budget that drew A-list names like Reese Witherspoon, Chrissy Teigen, Steven Spielberg, and Sam Raimi to make original content.

Disney+ launched by The Walt Disney Company late a year ago reported having 57.5 million paid subscribers as of the end of June. Our failure was not for lack of trying; we've considered and exhausted every option available to us.

Meanwhile Netflix has added 28.1 million paying subscribers so far this year, reporting this week that it now has slightly more than 195 million total subscribers.

The platform also failed to find a single, galvanizing hit show to gain users' attention, debuting after major new streaming services from Disney and Apple had already been in the marketplace for months.

Unfortunately, Quibi arrived at probably the worst time.

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