Quibi Shuts Down, Latest Billion Dollar Flop
Quibi has become the latest casualty in the global streaming service war, with the short-form video app to to shut after just 6 months, despite raising US$1.75 billion from high-profile investors.
Reported in a Wall Street Journal exclusive, sources state founder and ex Disney Co executive, Jeffrey Katzenberg, rallied investors on Wednesday to inform them the subscription service was shutting down.
The decision was said to be made in order to return as much capital as possible to investors, rather than risk losing further funds.
The streaming service will reportedly also explore selling the rights to some of its exclusive content to other media entities.
It comes after Quibi struggled to gain momentum across it millennial market, with the service known for its short-form videos (5mins – 10 mins) primarily played on mobile devices.
The company had been plagued with critics in the media, notably those asserting consumers could ingest free short-form videos from platforms such as YouTube.
Despite the criticism, Quibi was banking on its stable of Hollywood A-listers and celebrities to garner attention for its suite of original content (e.g. Anna Kendrick, Liam Hemsworth and Chrissy Teigen).
Some Quibi executives have reportedly informed media that the service would have been better positioned for success had it not been hampered by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
A subscription to Quibi would cost US$4.99/month, with hot competition from the likes of Apple TV+, HBO Max and Disney+ all launching in the last year.
The news comes amidst robust demand for streaming services, prompt by remote workers and home-bound consumers during the coronavirus pandemic.