Quibi was launched not very long ago to being the true mobile streaming platform for movie lovers. While there is honestly nothing special about the platform, it has one unique feature which is the ability to switch from portrait to landscape mode seamlessly without interrupting the experience.
The start up even raised billions of dollars with the hope that it’ll take after Netflix and other big guys in the industry but recent reports about the startup hasn’t been good enough and the worst is that the service may be shutting down after launching just seven months ago.
Quibi said subscribers will receive separate notifications about the final date they can watch the service, without specifying any timeline for when the service itself will go dark.
While there is still enough money for the service to run on for at least some significant period of time, it’s opting to exit the scene “with grace” according to the CEO Meg Whitman during a press release. It’ll also try to offer its assets around to other companies for potential buyers in order to make enough money that it can be offered back to its shareholders.
“Quibi was a big idea, and there was no one who wanted to make a success of it more than we did,” Whitman and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a joint open letter. “Our failure was not for lack of trying; we’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us.”
One of the contributing factors that made the service fail is said to be due to it timing during the COVID-19 pandemic but there are in fact other factors that also contributed to the failure of the service.
“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Whitman and Katzenberg wrote in the letter.
Quibi launched in the US and Canada in April as a service designed for watching on the go — just as swaths of North America were locking down because of the COVID pandemic. Its timing was one of several misfortunes and flawed strategies that kept the service from reaching its ambitious growth goals. The company’s mobile-only scheme also underestimated viewers’ interest in watching on TVs. Quibi’s initial design didn’t allow for easy sharing on social networks, stunting virality and word of mouth. And it was hit with a lawsuit from interactive-video company Eko, which claimed Quibi’s rotating-screen technology was a rip-off of its own. (Quibi rejected those allegations.)
The service was thought of being the new ways by which consumers can watch contents with ease and as fast as they possibly can with 10 minute episodes of events and so forth. But with different companies including the likes of YouTube, Netflix or HBO Max all available to users on different platforms, the ambitious mobile-only platform which was meant to be more pleasing failed to please.
The service was founded by Katzenberg wgho was the former head at Disney back in the 80s and 90s and also co-founded DreamWors Animation. Quibi (Quick Bite) quickly raised US$1.75 billion from investors as well as big Hollywood studio with former eBay and HP CEO Whitman coming onboard as the CEO.