Streaming service Quibi shuts down after few months of material


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Quibi first launched on April 6, amidst the rise of the pandemic. The platform is expected to officially shutdown around Dec. 1.

Streaming service Quibi is shutting down around Dec. 1 after being launched only six months ago. “Although the circumstances were not right for Quibi to succeed as a standalone company, our team achieved much of what we set out to accomplish,” Quibi executives stated in an open letter to their team. “We are tremendously proud.” 

The company also stated that they intend to return any remaining funds to their investors, and that their goal is to “preserve shareholder equity.” With streaming service options  like Netflix, Hulu, HBO and more already available to the public, many feel that Quibi was doomed to fail from the start. 

“No one could possibly have seen this turn of events, except, you know, everyone who wasn’t involved in the creation of Quibi itself,” USA Today said in an article. 

Quibi had a lot of positive endorsement when it was first gearing up for its release. About $1.75 billion was first invested into Quibi, and many celebrities promoted the streaming service, including Stephen Spielberg, Chrissy Tiegen, Kevin Hart and others. However, it appeared that not many users were signing up for the service, and it continuously ranked low on the Apple and Google’s app store. 

Quibi was originally intended to be used for short amounts of time while users were on a commute, or stuck in line somewhere. This inherently presented a problem when it came to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the need for quick entertainment while on the go became significantly less necessary. 

“Quibi is not succeeding,” founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said. “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.” Even without the pandemic, USA Today states that Quibi was not created on a good foundation. There was not a clear demographic, according to them, and there was similar content available for free on sites like Youtube. 

Quibi was also considered not very user-friendly to the younger demographic that it would have likely appealed most to. For example, screenshotting, a common way to spread information and content, was not allowed on Quibi until right before it announced the shutdown. There also weren’t options to comment, take clips or share videos from the site. This made spreading information on the streaming service more difficult.

In the end, there really didn’t seem to be much use for Quibi, and the design and execution of the service appeared to be poorly done given the technology we are used to in 2020. With the pandemic, in addition to all of the flaws in the site’s design, Quibi’s shutdown was inevitable.