Quibi is shutting down is what’s described as “a crash landing for a once-highflying entertainment startup that raised $1.75 billion in capital,” by The Wall Street Journal which cites those ever-present “people familiar with the matter.”
The streaming service has been plagued with problems since it launched in April, facing lower-than-expected viewership, disappointing download numbers and a lawsuit from a well-capitalized foe.
On Wednesday, Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg called investors to tell them he is shutting the service down, some of the people said.
Quibi’s shutdown marks a disappointing turn of events for Mr. Katzenberg, who pitched the streaming service as a revolutionary new entrant to the video-streaming wars.
The service served up shows in 5-minute to 10-minute “chapters” formatted to fit a smartphone screen, targeting subscribers who wanted entertainment in a hurry.
Mr. Katzenberg and Chief Executive Meg Whitman raised about $1.75 billion from high-profile investors including Walt Disney Co. , NBCUniversal and AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia. The service streamed original shows with stars such as Anna Kendrick, Christoph Waltz and Liam Hemsworth, which garnered mixed reviews.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in June, “So, why is the coronavirus to blame? Fewer bus/train commuters made for a smaller audience for bite-size videos, we’d guess. Still, if your video service couldn’t build an audience from a millions of cooped up people hungry for something, anything, to pass the time, perhaps it wasn’t that compelling in the first place.”