It was a short life for Quibi, the streaming service that wanted to give its fans short content, designed with fast consumption on mobile platforms in mind. After being launched in April 2020, the platform will close after not convincing enough customers.
The service’s co-founders, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, have already issued a statement, apologizing for the end of Quibi.
The news was first put forward by The Wall Street Journal, which had access to a call from investors in the service, which the founders dubbed “the third generation of film narratives” in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Launched in April 2020, Quibi never gained the momentum its creators expected. Initially, the application was downloaded by 4.5 million users, with 1.6 million of them subscribing to the service. However, about 90% of subscribers left Quibi after the 90-day free period.
At its launch, many users complained that it was impossible to access the service’s content other than on mobile platforms. Although that was the focus of the service, those responsible ended up giving in and allowing subscribers to view the series on televisions and PC.
Originally, Quibi planned to launch 175 original programs in its first year of life, with about half already available on the service.
Quibi’s original idea was to provide subscribers with short chapters of series and films, lasting between 5 and 10 minutes. The name of the application is a reflection of this model: “Quick Bite”, an expression that means something like “eat something fast” or “eat a snack”. With its launch coinciding with the worsening of containment measures, global circumstances have proved to be an obstacle to the success of this idea. With your potential audience closed at home, there has never been a greater reason to view content on smartphone screens instead of a television or computer.
Now, it remains for Katzenberg and Meg Whitman to find buyers for the productions that were scheduled to debut on the service, so they can one day see the light of day on a screen that does them justice.
Pedro Pestana is addicted to gaming, coffee and volleyball, roughly in that order. You can find some of his daydreams in @pmnpestana