The short-form video streaming service Quibi that was launched less than six months ago on Thursday announced to wind down the business and sell its content and technology assets.
Launched at the beginning of the pandemic with plans to reach 7.4 million subscribers this year, the platform fell far short of that.
Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman said in an open letter: “Our failure was not for lack of trying; we’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us”.
“While the result was not what any of us wanted, we did accomplish a number of things and we are very proud of what the talented Quibi team has built with the blood, sweat, and tears that they poured into this business over these past two years”.
The company is now aiming to return funds to investors, including major Hollywood players who put in about $1.75 billion in Quibi.
“We opened the door to the most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood to innovate from script to screen, and the result was content that exceeded our expectations,” the duo said.
“And yet, 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”.
Quibi was launched with a goal to create a new category of short-form entertainment for mobile devices.
The founders said that over the coming months, they will be “working hard to find buyers for these valuable assets who can leverage them to their full potential”.