The streaming wars have taken another victim! After only six months, mobile-only streaming service Quibi is shutting down. Despite loads of hype and over a billion invested, Quibi simply could not compete…
Quibi: Shutting Down
In case you missed it – and let’s face it, you might have – Quibi was a streaming service with a radical idea. Founders Jeffrey Katzenberg, former Dreamworks CEO, and Meg Whitman, former eBay and Hewlett Packard CEO, decided to launch a mobile-only streaming service. That’s right, you could only watch Quibi on your phone. Meanwhile, each episode of shows only lasted roughly ten minutes.
Still, despite the strange idea, Katzenberg and Whitman managed to garner 1.75 billion dollars in investments and top-quality content from the likes of Kristen Bell, Steven Spielberg, Chrissy Tiegen, Kevin Hart, and many more stars. “We put the red carpet out and said to the top Hollywood creative community we are setting to tell a new type of story in a new way on a new platform,” Katzenberg stated before the launch. Unfortunately, the idea would prove unpopular.
After only six months is already “winding down the business and looking to sell it’s content and technology assets,” an official letter to investors read. “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 circumstances of launching during a pandemic is something we could have never imagined but other businesses have faced these unprecedented challenges and have found their way through it. We were not able to do so,” the letter, from Katzenberg and Whitman, read. And there are plenty of reasons why…
The Streaming Wars in 2020
The content on Quibi was something between Netflix and TikTok. The original plan was for working adults to watch the “Quick Bites” while in line at the supermarket or on the subway back home. Unfortatunely, coronavirus put an end to all that. All of a sudden, public transportation use and shopping trips dropped, radically. As a result, Quibi only earned 2 million subscribers in the first six months – their goal was 7 million. Even worse, a large percentage of the 2 million subscribers left after the free trial, meaning the company made practically nothing off them.
“Our goal when we launched Quibi was to create a new category of short-form entertainment for mobile devices,” Katzenberg and Whitman said. “Although the circumstances were not right for Quibi to succeed as a standalone company, our team achieved much of what we set out to accomplish, and we are tremendously proud of the award-winning and innovative work that we have produced, both in terms of original content and the underlying technology platform.”
Now the only question that remains is which Quibi shows will survive to other platforms and which will disappear. Keep your eyes on The Finance Chatter to discover all the latest streaming wars updates!