Quibi has failed to really take off since it first launched in April, becoming the butt of jokes about its low subscriber numbers, and now it seems as though the experiment is coming to an end after less than a year. According to a new Wall Street Journal report, founder Jeffrey Katzenberg called investors on Wednesday to tell them he is shutting the streaming service down.
Quibi, named for “quick bites” of entertainment, offered short five-to-10-minute “chapters” of its programs formatted to fit a smartphone screen. The idea was that we’re all too busy these days to sit down and watch a full episode of something. Then, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and many people suddenly had all the time in the world to stay home and binge shows on traditional streaming services — spelling bad news for the new startup.
Though it raised $1.75 billion in capital, Quibi never did manage to get off the ground. As the Journal notes, “It struggled to attract subscribers after spending heavily on original programming. It said the pandemic has been the primary cause of its struggles, but its $4.99 per-month subscription fee and an already crowded marketplace also are seen as factors for its difficulties.”
Quibi is reportedly holding another call with investors later Wednesday to update them on the status of the company.
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