Short-video app Quibi shutting down just months after launch
Oct 22 2020
More concerningly for the streamer and its employees, Katzenberg has also apparently told people in the industry that Quibi may have to be shut down altogether. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news. 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.
Quibi, which debuted April 6, "was founded to create the next generation of storytelling", founder and board Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg said in the announcement. "So, we may be sheltered in place, but we're watching more video on our phone than we ever have before".
"We have assembled a world-class creative and engineering team that has created an original platform fueled by groundbreaking technology and IP, enabling consumers to view premium content in a whole new way", Katzenberg said.
This composite released by Quibi shows a selection of images from programs offered on the new Quibi service, from left, Anna Kendrick from "Dummy", Sophie Turner, who stars in "Survive", Liam Hemsworth, who stars in "Most Dangerous Game", Chrissy Teigen in "Chrissy's Court" and Chance the Rapper in "Punk'd.". With content available exclusively on smartphones in "quick bites" running 10 minutes or less, the service was targeted at viewers on the go, and had the misfortune of launching just as the COVID-19 pandemic confined Quibi's would-be subscribers to their homes.
The short-form video startup Quibi is now a short-lived platform.
The pair cited two "likely" reasons for that: "Because the idea itself wasn't strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing". Katzenberg was a chairman of Disney Studios and the cofounder and CEO of Dreamworks, while CEO Meg Whitman was the former chief executive of HP. Unfortunately, we will never know but we suspect it's been a combination of the two. That includes selling the company to potential buyers, although reports have been swirling for weeks of Quibi's failed attempts to woo corporate buyers like Comcast to sell.