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Just six months old, Quibi is already shutting down

Quibi Logo
Quibi Logo (Image credit: Quibi)

What you need to know

  • Quibi is shutting its doors.
  • The nascent short-form video streaming platform launched in April this year.
  • The company is reportedly looking to sell off its original content.

The video streaming business is far more cutthroat than you might think. Case in point: Quibi, the streaming platform that billed itself as the Netflix for short-form content designed for millennials on mobile devices, is shutting down just six months after its launch, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The company had previously raised $1.7 billion in funding and invested about a billion of that into its own original programming, but apparently to no avail.

Though it was able to court big-name celebrities to its platform, including Laurence Fishburne (of Matrix fame), Anna Kendrick, Christopher Waltz, and Steven Spielberg among others, the platform was simply unable to attract the viewers needed to recoup its investments. According to at least one estimate, the company lost almost 90 percent of its 910,000 subscribers after their initial 3-month trial finished. And though the company denies these claims, it has also refused to provide subscriber numbers.

Interestingly, the news comes just two days after the company announced a departure from its mobile-only strategy with the launch of new Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Android TV apps aimed at responding to the shift in consumer habits owing to the pandemic and the new reality of working from home.

The company's founder, Jeffrey Katzenberg, has reportedly been peddling the company's billion-dollar original programs to any number of buyers in recent months, from Apple and Facebook to NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia, but without much luck. Despite the two Emmys it's won and the cornucopia of celebrities to back it up, it seems like no one's really interested in Quibi's unique take on entertainment.

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  • Who's surprised?
    Only Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman.
    Anybody else?
    Nope. Didn't think so.
  • This is what comes from being completely and utterly tone-deaf to user needs and wants. Lolol
  • More like Quitbi
  • What? I'm shocked, not a single human on the planet saw this coming.
  • $2 billion dollars down the drain, the SEC needs to investigate this.
  • This had disaster written all over since the beginning. The fact that $2 billion dollars was wasted on this brainfart of an enterprise is mind boggling. It sure needs a closer look from the authorities because it smells like a sophisticated ponzi scheme. Too bad for all the people who took a chance on this. As well as the original content. There were some good ideas there. Maybe some of the other streamers can pick up some of this stuff if it's viable. AppleTV Plus is next...