Streaming service Quibi to shut down

  • Streaming service Quibi to shut down

Streaming service Quibi to shut down

Quibi, the short-video streaming service, is shutting down after launching a mere six months ago, according to The Wall Street Journal. Now those investors-from Quibi CEO Meg Whitman to Google, Facebook and J.P. Morgan-are facing losses and figuring out what they may recoup from the flop.

The timing of Quibi's launch not only coincided with the global coronavirus pandemic, but also with the meteoric rise of TikTok - which largely served the same function and for free.

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"The world has changed dramatically since Quibi launched and our standalone business model is no longer viable", founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement. Initially, Quibi content was only viewable through the smartphone app and users couldn't watch content on TV sets.

Critics of the service said its short content, created to be watched by commuters or during a lunch break, had been launched at a time when millions more people were working from home.

"We have assembled a world-class creative and engineering team that has created an original platform fueled by groundbreaking technology and IP, enabling consumers to view premium content in a whole new way", Katzenberg said.

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Katzenberg's connections as an entertainment industry heavyweight helped line up stars to make and star in its videos, including Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Lopez, Liam Hemsworth, Reese Witherspoon and Steven Spielberg.

Quibi planned to wind down operations and sell off its assets, according to the release. Quibi's raison d'être was to fill short bursts of time throughout a user's day-say, commuting on the subway, waiting for an appointment, or in between school classes-with five- to 10-minute mobile-only "bites" of content.

The company doesn't release subscriber figures, but USA mobile research firm Sensor Tower estimated Quibi's mobile app had 9.6 million installations since its launch.

Quibi, the much-hyped mobile streaming service that touted videos in short bits, lived a short life. As New York's Benjamin Wallace reported in July, many of Quibi's shows had been "widely shopped elsewhere" before they landed on the service.

Meanwhile Netflix has added 28.1 million paying subscribers so far this year, reporting this week that it now has slightly more than 195 million total subscribers.