Quibi launched earlier this year and was meant to revolutionize the ways in which audiences consume content, but a new report from the Wall Street Journal claims sources inside the company confirmed the platform would be shutting down. The platform, which was meant to reimagine the way stories were told, raised $1.75 billion to launch, though has publicly struggled to find footing with audiences. Despite drawing in impressive talent and filmmakers to craft exclusive content, the company has been attempting to sell the company and its unique platform to Apple, Facebook, and WarnerMedia, all of which reportedly turned down the opportunity.
The platform, which was founded by Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, was designed to offer users "quick bites" of entertainment, as each episode of a program would be shorter than 10 minutes. While some programs explored long-form narratives, sometimes requiring multiple 10-minute installments to reveal the entire story, other programs could be entirely consumed in just one episode.
Given the rise of social media and content being made available exclusively for apps, it's easy to see what Quibi's approach to content was, as its programs were exclusively available on the app and weren't initially available to be viewed on TVs. Another unique feature of Quibi was its technology that allowed audiences to view the content in either a landscape or portrait orientation on their phones, with the content immediately adjusting to be optimized for their preferred orientation.
Earlier this summer, Katzenberg noted that the coronavirus pandemic and the number of people who were quarantining in their homes meant there were fewer people consuming short pieces of content on their phones. With the platform designed to be consumed for people commuting on public transportation or waiting in lines, the functionality of the platform wasn't fully being utilized.
"When the country opens up… we are all going to be back on the go again," Kateznberg shared this past June. "The difference is, is that we are going to be waiting on line for more things than ever before… We are going to be waiting like crazy, and I hope Quibi is there to keep you entertained."
Stay tuned for updates on the latest with Quibi.
Are you surprised that Quibi is being shut down? Did you subscribe to the service? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!