Quibi to Shutter Just Six Months After Its Launch
LOS ANGELES – Quibi, the much promoted video start up, is shutting down just six months after its launch, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Despite efforts by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman to raise nearly $2 billion in funding to launch the startup, it will close down permanently after being unable to attract enough subscribers to its mobile-first shows.
The newspaper reported that Quibi has been evaluating its options for the last several weeks, which include a possible sale. The fact the company is opting to close despite having hundreds of millions of dollars in funds available to it may indicate that Katzenberg and Whitman see few options for long term success.
Katzenberg had been developing the idea for Quibi for years, but it didn’t take root until after 2016 when he sold DreamWorks Animation to NBCUniversal. Whitman soon came on board to lead the business as CEO and together the duo raised $1 billion in funding from investors which included all of the major studios.
The idea was to lure subscribers with premium shortform content that could only be watched on a mobile phone. Among the filmmakers who joined the effort were Antoine Fuqua, Sam Raimi, Guillermo Del Toro and Catherine Hardwicke who were recruited to create content for the service.
Despite the $5 monthly subscription, the April launch was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic which forced people to stay home and face job loss or cuts in pay.