Published Oct 21, 2020Quibi almost felt like it would be the year's easiest punchline, but even that proved problematic, as so many people had never heard of it. Still, the much-maligned smartphone-based streaming service (which promised "quick bites" of content via its name) is officially shutting down just six months after it launched.
According to the Wall Street Journal, founder Jeffrey Katzenberg called investors today to give them the heads-up that he's shutting down the streaming service.
The app, which launched in April, had raised $1.75 billion USD in capital and promised short-form content that ran on an average of five to 10 minutes. Fascinatingly, plenty of big-name stars signed on for shows on the service — which also included Chance the Rapper's Punk'd reboot — but few people watched any of its shows.
According to the Sensor Tower, Quibi lost 90 percent of its users after their free trial expired, with an estimated 72,000 users sticking around after the initial 910,000 had signed up upon launch. In comparison, 9.5 million people signed up for Disney+ in its first three days.
Earlier today, reports emerged that Katzenberg tried to sell the company's programs to the likes of Facebook and NBCUniversal, although they did not jump at the opportunity.
As of press time, Quibi has not yet made an official announcement.