Apparently, Quibi was just like its content, a flash in the pan
So long, and thanks for the short-form memories.
If the name Quibi doesn’t ring any bells for you, I wouldn’t worry about it. The short-form, soon-to-be-short-lived streaming service is reportedly exploring its future, including an option to exit stage right.
The streaming service was founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg, who you wouldn’t have bet against before the service launched. I mean, he was chairman of Walt Disney Studios before this. Surely if anyone could make a new streaming service work, it would be him. The same goes for CEO Meg Whitman, who in her long career helmed Hewlett-Packard, eBay, and more. On their names, Quibi raised nearly $2 billion dollars in funds before the April launch, which was then used to snare some top-tier talent in both actors and producers.
Then again, the Quibi recipe doesn’t really fit our pandemic rubric. We’re (mostly) no longer going on public transport, which would have been a great time to watch the bite-sized Quibi episodes. We’re no longer waiting at bus stops or metro stations, traffic jams have pretty much gone away as fewer cars are on the road due to work from home initiatives. Heck, even bathroom breaks are interrupted by toddlers who don’t understand you just need ten minutes of peace.
The numbers don’t match up either. Quibi forecasted seven million paid subscribers at $4.99 each in the first year, and sixteen million in year three. They didn’t even make that first number in people who signed up for the free 90-day trial, as only 5.6 million downloaded the app, and a vague “[we saw] excellent conversion” to paid subscribers is all the service would tell The Verge back in July.
Executive churn, a lawsuit over patent infringement, and fewer people with disposable income all contribute to Quibi’s woes. Is it going to continue, or has the service had its ten minutes of fame? Only time will tell.
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