Quibi is shutting down after only six months of operation.
In an open letter, founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman confirmed the end of the mobile streaming service that raised close to $2 billion in funding.
“We started with the idea to create the next generation of storytelling and because of you, we were able to create and deliver the best version of what we imagined Quibi to be,” the letter reads. “So 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.”
Quibi was designed for people on-the-go, but by its launch in early April, the global pandemic was nearing its first peak and potential users were more than likely self-isolating at home. Additionally, the unemployment crisis may have played a part despite Quibi’s fairly inexpensive plans: $4.99 (with ads) or $7.99 (ad-free).
However, during its short-lived existence, the short-form entertainment service provided several Black creatives an outlet. Quibi was home to sex-pert Shan Boodram’s “Sexology With Shan,” Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings’ “The Nod With Brittany & Eric,” and Chance The Rapper’s reboot of “Punk’d.”
The women are rich and the gowns are abundant, but is the Real Housewives franchise good for the culture? 🕵️🏾
Head to @Quibi, where @ira joins @bmluse and @eeddings to discuss. https://t.co/JkrvH1yhDc pic.twitter.com/Qs1ifwaoj1
— thenodshow (@thenodshow) October 21, 2020
“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 founders wrote. “We challenged engineers to build a mobile platform that enabled a new form of storytelling — and they delivered a groundbreaking and delightful service.”
As a result of the shutdown, many of these creatives and employees will be jobless, but Katzenberg and Whitman are “working hard to find buyers for these valuable assets.”
The Verge reports that Katzenberg has previously courted Apple, WarnerMedia, and Facebook to acquire the platform. She also tried getting NBCUniversal and Facebook to pick up Quibi’s content but nothing worked.
Do you talk to your parents about sex? Are you comfortable with your parents talking to you about their sex life? My dad is a guest on an upcoming episode of #sexologywithshanboodram only on @Quibi ❤️ pic.twitter.com/jeORsJKiyk
— Shan Boodram (@shanboody) October 21, 2020
“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down. We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.”