Hollywood-backed streaming service Quibi to shutter 6 months after launch

(Reuters) – Streaming service Quibi announced on Wednesday that it would cease operations and initiate a process to sell its assets just six months after its launch.

The announcement underscores the dominance Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney + and Apple TV + have over smaller streaming service providers who are struggling to keep up with their huge content budgets and huge libraries of shows.

“The world has changed dramatically since Quibi was launched and our stand-alone business model is no longer viable,” founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement.

Los Angeles-based Quibi provides entertainment and news in episodes of 10 minutes or less on cell phones originally advertised for on-the-go viewing. The price for the service was $ 5 per month with ads or $ 8 per month without ads.

“Our failure was not due to lack of trial; We have checked and exhausted all options available to us, ”said CEO Meg Whitman and Katzenberg in a letter to the employees. They said the flaw could either be because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to warrant a standalone streaming service, or because of its timing.

Backed with $ 1.8 billion by Hollywood studios and other investors, Quibi was launched on April 6 when audiences sought shelter at home to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Popular shows on the service included Most Dangerous Game starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz, Chrissy’s Court, and news and talk shows like Around the World from BBC News and The Report from NBC News.

In addition to ad sales, Quibi has had subscription revenue of $ 3.3 million since its inception. According to the analysis company Apptopia, sales have been falling since July.

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru. Editing by Anil D’lva and Maju Samuel.)

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