Just six months after launch, Quibi is giving up and shutting down and becoming one of the shortest streaming services, reports the Wall Street Journal. Several factors can explain this router, particularly the Covid-19 pandemic.
An innovative, but not convincing format
Platform managers Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg confirmed the news in a blog post on Medium:
“We started with the idea of creating the next generation of stories and thanks to you we have been able to create and deliver the best version of Quibi. It is with an incredibly heavy heart that we announce today that we are closing down the company’s operations and trying to sell its content and technology. “
Quibi was launched in April 2020 and offers an innovative format with short content that can be displayed both horizontally and vertically on smartphones. The subscription price is $ 5 with ads and $ 8 without ads with a three-month free trial. Jeffrey Katzenberg, former Disney and co-founder of DreamWorks Studios, relied on his new service and appealed to great minds, both in terms of directing and acting.
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Quibi also has significant shareholders such as Disney and NBCUniversal. However, the company prefers to stop now to repay them rather than proceeding and rushing to the precipice: “We feel we have exhausted all of our options. As a result, we reluctantly made the difficult decision of going out of business, returning the money to our shareholders and saying goodbye to our colleagues with grace. “
The complications followed one another
This abrupt end can be explained for a number of reasons. Quibi was started in the middle of a lockdown when people were told to stay at home and logically consume content on their computers or on TV rather than on smartphones. The platform also had to deal with the arrival of Disney + in a market already dominated by giants like Netflix and Prime Video. In addition, short content is already available on YouTube or TikTok.
If Quibi got off to a good start after two weeks with 2.7 million downloads, the users obviously didn’t hold onto it: the platform lost 90% of its subscribers after the three month free period, with only 72,000 users choosing to opt out The Verge notes. A report released in May claiming the company shared user data with its advertising partners did not help.
There was no shortage of warning signs of this failure. Megan Imbres, Quibi’s marketing manager and former Netflix, had decided to disembark shortly after the service started. In addition, the interactive video company is suing Eko Quibi for patent infringement and theft of trade secrets.