Streaming service Quibi shuts down after only six months of operation


Kenzo Cogswell, Staff Writer

After only half a year since its release, mobile-focused movie and TV streaming platform Quibi officially closes its doors. The announcement was made on Quibi’s Medium page by its founders.
it is with an incredibly heavy heart that today we are announcing that we are winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets,” the duo says. Jefferey Katzenburg and Meg Whitman created Quibi as a rebrand from another platform created by them called NewTV. What they made Quibi different from other big entertainment streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Crunchyroll is its complete focus on mobile devices. Instead of full movies, the entertainment that Quibi provides are more akin to short videos. All content on Quibi is only around 15 minutes maximum, with the average ranging from 7 10 minutes. The shorter than average length allows for easy viewing on a daily commute or a bus ride to school. The platform is not even available on non-mobile devices, such as desktop computers.

This niche that Quibi attempted to carve for itself was in vain. On their Medium post, Katzenberg and Whitman connected Quibi’s failure with two reasons: because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing.Regarding the timing, Quibi officially launched on April 6, 2020, right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people are stuck at home with no commute and a lot of time on their hands, meaning that instead of using Quibi’s convenient length, they will opt for the sheer quantity of a full-length film from an application like Netflix instead.

When it comes to the strength of the idea, most people don’t even seem to recognize the Quibi name in general, let alone the few shows on it. Ask anyone at Freedom if they have ever heard of a streaming service named Quibi; most will tilt their head and say: “Who?”

But if you have never heard of it, why should you care about the failure of a seemingly forgettable product? For one, the founder behind Quibi, Jeffrey Katzenberg, was once the CEO of Disney, who has created recognizable movies such as Moana, The Lion King and, Cinderella, and the head of DreamWorks, the company behind films such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon. Most have never heard of Quibi, but most have at least heard of one of these movies.

Even when headed by someone with as much experience in the entertainment industry as Katzenburg, Quibi has still managed to become a massive flop in the streaming service scene. While platforms like Netflix have been in business for a decade, Quibi has lasted for not even a tenth of that. Even with its utter failure, one can only imagine the potential the mobile platform could have had.