Quibi Is Shutting Down After 6 Disappointing Months
Like its content, Quibi's time in the spotlight was brief. 'Quibi is not succeeding,' founder Jeffery Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman acknowledged today.
UPDATE: Quibi has made it official: The video streaming app is closing down.
"Quibi will begin winding down its operations and plans to work with its legal and financial advisors over the coming months to dissolve the Company and identify a suitable buyer or buyers for its assets," the company said in a statement.
In a blog post, Quibi Founder Jeffery Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman added: "Quibi is not succeeding. Likely for one of two reasons: Because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing. Unfortunately, we will never know, but we suspect it’s been a combination of the two."
The company does have enough cash to continue operating "for a significant period of time," but decided it was best to return the remaining funds to investors.
"We continue to believe that there is an attractive market for premium, short-form content," Whitman added in a separate statement. "Over the coming months we will be working hard to find buyers for these valuable assets who can leverage them to their full potential.”
The company plans on notifying existing subscribers concerning the final date for when Quibi can be accessed.
Quibi, the short-video streaming service, is shutting down after launching a mere six months ago, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Quibi founder Jeffery Katzenberg announced the shutdown today on a call with investors. The Journal points to lower-than-expected viewership and disappointing download numbers as the leading problems that contributed to Quibi’s quick downfall.
The reported shutdown is stunning, considering that Quibi hasn’t even been around for a year. Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, Quibi CEO and former Hewlett Packard head, raised $1.75 billion to fund the video-streaming service, which starts at $4.99 a month.
Like Netflix, Quibi also produces its own video content. But it focuses on five- to 10-minute episodes designed to be consumed over smartphones. Initially exclusive to iOS and Android mobile devices, access later expanded to Chromecast and AirPlay.
Unfortunately, Quibi arrived at probably the worst time. The Covid-19 pandemic caused many Americans to stay at home, negating the need to consume content on the go through smartphones. Instead, Americans had plenty of time to stream TV shows and movies over their TVs and laptops at home.
According to the Journal, Quibi has been trying to salvage its business by selling itself off, but the company failed to find any buyers. The service also reportedly failed to meet its subscriber targets by a “large margin.”
Quibi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.