I think we all knew that Quibi, as a content platform, was doomed from the start. Between unclear marketing and unappealing content, Quibi launched on April 6th, 202 to a dramatic thud. The new streaming service, which was meant to be a mobile-only platform, faced sharp criticism for generally having nothing to support itself on besides meager celebrity output. When the most well-known title on your platform is an impromptu, micro-budget reenactment of The Princess Bride, that’s not just bad, that’s embarrassing. So it should be no surprise then to learn that Quibi has announced today that they will begin shutting down their streaming service posthaste.
Sure, Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg may have blamed the pandemic for stifling the fledgling service, but that was a cheap excuse if there ever was one. Now more than ever people are reliant on streaming services to deliver their content and the fact that Quibi couldn’t even manage to do that shows just how insignificant it really was. It barely lasted six months. On the shutdown, the company attributed its failures to “the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service [and] because of our timing.” Katzenberg and crew are currently looking for a way to relocate all of Quibi’s original content to other streaming services, but really, I don’t think anyone will really be clamoring for any of it.
The numbers were bad for Quibi. After the extended 90-day free trial, Quibi lost about 90% of its original install base, which never went above 1 million concurrent subscribers. The mobile-only approach also hurt it more than helped with Quibi just launching a TV version of the app yesterday. Look, I wish I can say I’m surprised, but really, I’m not. This was inevitable. The writing was on the wall since Day 1 that Quibi was not going to be a success. When I heard the news, all I could do was literally laugh to the point where I went into a coughing fit. My heart goes out to the people that have lost their jobs because of this, especially in this tough recession, but the fact remains that bad ideas are bad ideas. Jeffrey Katzenberg has, and always will be, more confident in his own abilities than he really should be, and Quibi is just further proof of that.
And now, the inevitable punchline:
Source: The Verge