Almost two billion dollars of investments, as well as an impressive list of names of startup executives did not save the service from bankruptcy — just six months after the launch of the «mobile online cinema Quibi», it officially ceases to work.
Quibi was created by the former Walt Disney Studios CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and the former HP and eBay CEO Margaret Whitman. They raised $ 1.75 billion for the launch from banks and major Hollywood studios. The idea was in the «pocket TV», i.e. Quibi was designed to entertain viewers on the go, in transport, in queues etc.
Quibi is short for quick bites (or, if we apply this concept to the content of the service, «short videos»).
Accordingly, no version of the app for home viewing (i.e., a web version and an app for TVs) was provided. Quibi worked only on smartphones, and this was logical until the coronavirus came to Earth, stuffing earthlings in homes. And you can watch Quibi’s «premium films» while at home only if you like to spend hours sitting in the toilet with your phone. Of course, there are such people, but, fortunately, there are very few of them.
Realizing that without the web version and the ability to watch content on TV, the creators of Quibi cut off a huge audience from themselves, they released a version for other media devices. But that ship has sailed and the first subscribers of the service, who got access to Quibi at the start of the service, did not massively took out a paid subscription after the end of the free trial. In total, about 910 thousand users subscribed to the service, while after the end of the trial period, the subscription was renewed only by 72 thousand users.
For months, Katzenberg and Whitman negotiated the sale of Quibi to other media companies such as Apple, Facebook, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia, but they were not interested in the service. Maybe because a subscription for Quibi cost $ 5 per month for the ad version, and $ 8 per month for no ads. Media giants doubted young people would pay for Quibi when there is free TikTok.