HOLLYWOOD—The mobile-streaming app, Quibi, will cease all operations after 6 months since its launch in April due to financial strains and minimal subscribers. Quibi is a first of its kind streaming app designed for mobile use only that featured original programming with big name actors and filmmakers, such as Christoph Waltz, Anna Kendrick, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg to name a few, but their main appeal was the 6-8 minute formatted shows known as “quick bites.”
Quibi’s budget to produce their programming and marketing cost them $1.75 billion to create and charged subscribers $4.99 a month, so one reason for their downfall was lack of appeal for their short form content, especially to their targeted younger demographic.
According to a joint open letter from Quibi’s founders Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg, they stated:
“Our failure was not for lack of trying…Quibi is not succeeding. Likely for one of two reasons: because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing.”
In that same letter, they expressed that they hoped to “create the next generation of storytelling.” There are currently other platforms with short form content, such as YouTube and TikTok, which generate more subscribers in large part that anyone can create their content for free if they choose to. It has been reported by the Wall Street Journal, the money that remained was split into their investors and their employees.
In addition to its failure to reach a young audience, the market is already saturated with numerous streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney plus each with their own type of original content. Quibi CEO’s Whitman served as the CEO of eBay and Hewlett Packard before Quibi and Katzenberg co-founded Dreamworks. After they issued the open letter to their employees, they issued an ‘End of Service Announcement’ stating that they will terminate Quibi either on or around December 1, which signals an end to the short term and short programming mobile app.