Quibi LogoSource: 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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