Just months after launching its highly-publicized short-form, video service, Quibi has announced it is shutting down.
Quibi debuted to much fanfare, with a wide array of investor and celebrity support. In fact, Quibi is believed to have raised some $1.75 billion, and cost $5 a month for the ad-supported version and $8 a month for no ads. The service was built around the concept of shows comprised of short, 10 minute episodes.
In many ways, it’s surprising Quibi has failed. In the midst of the pandemic, with people spending more time at home, most video services have experienced record growth. Quibi was never able to translate that into success, however, despite having celebrity backing that would make most other services jealous.
“The circumstances of launching during a pandemic is something we could have never imagined but other businesses have faced these unprecedented challenges and have found their way through it. We were not able to do so,” founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote on Medium.
“Which brings us to this moment. As entrepreneurs our instinct is to always pivot, to leave no stone unturned — especially when there is some cash runway left — but we feel that we’ve exhausted all our options. As a result we have reluctantly come to the difficult decision to wind down the business, return cash to our shareholders, and say goodbye to our colleagues with grace. We want you to know we did not give up on this idea without a fight.”
The company looked at other options, including the possibility of a sale. Unfortunately, none of those plans materialized, leaving no option but shutting down.