Launched in April, Quibi’s shows were designed to be watched on a phone, with all episodes, called Chapters, running less than 10 minutes. It kicked off with two dozen shows. A revival of Punk’d hosted by Chance the Rapper, a Titus Burgess-hosted cooking show and a comedy sketch show from Nicole Richie were among the platform’s initial offerings.
“Quibi was a big idea and there was no one who wanted to make a success of it more than we did,” Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman wrote in an open letter to employees, investors and partners. “Our failure was not for lack of trying; we’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us.”
In the open letter, Katzenberg and Whitman cite one of two likely reasons for Quibi not succeeding: “because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing,” they wrote.
According to WSJ, the decision to shut down was made in order to return as much capital as possible to investors rather than continue and risk more loss. Employees will be laid off and receive severance.
Per the open letter, as Quibi prepares its exit, the company is pursuing selling its content and technology assets.