Darn, Quibi, we hardly knew you! That was the problem with the short-form streaming service, which announced Wednesday that it is shutting down for good, roughly seven months after it launched. While the company will be gone, they it won’t be forgotten, but not because it provided great content that the public clamored for. No, that was a disaster; there literally was no buzz associated with the streamer whatsoever.
Quibi will forever be known as the ambitious, slightly arrogant company that only attached itself to big-name content creators, raised a ton of cash, and crashed to the ground under the leadership of two of the most accomplished executives of the past 30 years.
Under the guidance of founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, Quibi was able to raise more than $1 billion in funding from a collection of banks, technology firms, Hollywood studios and TV companies. The roughly $300 million that is left will be returned to investors, and the company will try to sell off assets, including content and technology.
“Quibi determined that due to the changed industry landscape and ongoing challenges, it was clear that the business would not be able to continue operating for the long term on a standalone basis,” the company statement said. “Following a comprehensive assessment of strategic and financial options, Quibi’s Board made the difficult decision to pursue this course.”
What set Quibi apart — outside of its incredibly quick demise — was the fact that it produced video content in bursts of 10 minutes or less that was intended for a mobile audience only. Once the pandemic hit and people were stuck indoors, Quibi was toast. Liam Hemsworth, Reese Witherspoon, Sophie Turner and Ridley Scott to produce short-form content.
The plan was to take on and compete with Netflix, Hulu and AppleTV, but instead it looks like the company will be more closely associated with New Coke.