22 Oct – Short-form video streaming service Quibi turns out to be a short-lived dream for founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, who earlier today penned an open letter to apologise after it was announced that Quibi is shutting down.
It's barely been six months since the streaming service was launched on 6 April 2020, but its failure to find a foothold in a market dominated by the likes of Netflix and YouTube has led to its early demise.
Despite having quite a large number of content made by A-list celebrities, such as Will Smith's stand-up comedy series "The Joka", Antoine Fuqua's thriller drama "#FreeRayshawn" and Sophie Turner's survival drama "Survive", this was not enough to attract subscribers.
While Katzenberg and Whitman were confident people being stuck at home would mean more eyes for their streaming service, it proved to be the opposite as viewers got tired of always having to be glued to their smartphones to watch the content, whereas other streaming services' content is viewable on bigger screens.
Variety has just reported that Quibi finally brought the service to Apple TV, Amazon's Fire TV and Google TV/Android TV, but looks like this came too late.
The mobile subscription-video platform had more than USD1.7 billion in investment from Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, MGM, WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS, as well as Wall Street's Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, according to Deadline.
Katzenberg said in an interview with the online news site, "We want to maximize the return to our investors here and those numbers are going to be sizeable. We are going to return a lot of money to them."
Both he and Whitman stated that they were not pressured by their investors regarding the shutdown, but it was the right thing to do.
Stating that "there's a wind-down that will take place over the next couple of months," they will be looking for buyers who will allow Quibi and its content to "continue on, on somebody else's platform."
(Photo source: Quibi | Adweek)