Short Form Video Service Quibi Shutting Down

Short-form streaming service Quibi has announced it is pulling the plug on the platform aimed at smartphone users

Some blame has been put on the fact that its offering of videos of less than ten minutes was primarily aimed at commuters, a market that has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

In theory, Quibi had everything going for it when it launched.

Katzenberg has reportedly tried to sell the startup's catalogue of programmes to companies including NBCUniversal and Facebook without success.

Quibi (pronounced KWHI-BEE and short for "quick bites") was a streaming service for short videos including movies and series to watch on your smartphone. "We were not able to do so", they wrote.

It's unclear when Quibi will go offline and what'll happen to its content, but an official announcement of the shutdown will most likely appear soon with those details.

The fledgling platform scored 10 Emmy nominations this year, including for cop spoof revival Reno 911! and dystopian thriller Most Dangerous Game.

The multi-billion-dollar streaming platform launched in April, betting it could transform entertainment with short, Hollywood-quality clips to watch "on the go" - even as much of the world was trapped at home. As the coronavirus pandemic struck, most people were no longer commuting to work and therefore might have not been that interested in a mobile-only streaming service.

But today Quibi's founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said he had seen the writing on the wall, unable to tell if COVID-19 killed his idea, or he did. Reports in recent days had indicated that an attempt was made to offload programming to NBCUniversal or Facebook, but it appears those deals failed to materialize as of today's announcement, perhaps in part because, the Journal notes, Quibi does not actually outright own numerous shows, instead having lured A-list talent with deals meant to revert rights to creators at some future point.

Subscriptions had cost US$5 (RM20.70) monthly with ads, or US$8 without.

Inspired by the stratospheric rise in video-on-demand platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+, Quibi was an attempt to distil human's social media behaviour down into one platform.