- Quibi, the streaming service that launched earlier this year, is shutting down.
- The service was supposed to appeal to younger audiences with its mobile-centric business model.
Update 2: October 23, 2020 – Quibi has revealed that the service will shut down “on or about December 1”. There’s no word on what will happen to the service’s content after that date.
Update 1: October 22, 2020 (1:05 AM ET): Quibi has confirmed in an open letter that the streaming service is shutting shop.
“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that today we are announcing that we are winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets,” Quibi co-founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote in their letter to investors, employees, and partners. “We’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us,” they added.
The entrepreneurs admit that it’s possible their idea of launching a mobile-only streaming service wasn’t strong enough or well-timed due to the pandemic.
There’s still no clear timeline on when the service will shut down.
Original article: October 21, 2020 (4:17 PM ET): It looks like it’s lights out for Quibi. The streaming service, which launched mid-April 2020, will reportedly shut down its operations. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report this development.
Quibi recently hired a restructuring firm, which supposedly offered a number of options for the failing service. One of those options was to shut down entirely, and that appears to be what Quibi co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg decided to use, according to the story. He has reportedly called investors to give them the news.
Katzenberg and Quibi’s other co-founder and CEO Meg Whitman raised $1.75 billion to fund the streaming service. What makes Quibi unique is that it’s mobile-centric and is only available on Android and iOS. Quibi shows are also no more than ten minutes in length. The theory was that people on the go could watch these short segments of a series at work during breaks.
However, the service, which cost $4.99 a month with ads and $7.99 a month without ads, launched just a few weeks after the coronavirus outbreak. That meant many people were stuck at home, which cut into the service’s idea of offering streaming entertainment on the go. Many people asked for smart TV apps, and earlier this week, Quibi actually launched those apps for Android TV, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV devices.
There’s no word yet on exactly when the Quibi shut down will happen. Deadline reports that the Quibi shut down could take several months. There’s also no word on where the over 50 scripted and unscripted TV series on the service, many of which have yet to debut, will turn up after the shutdown. Deadline claims that Katzenberg and Whitman may still sell off the service if someone becomes interested in buying it.