Short-form streaming service Quibi announced Wednesday it is pulling the plug on the platform aimed at smartphone users hungry for entertainment on the go.
“Quibi was founded to create the next generation of storytelling,” Katzenberg said in a release.
“The world has changed dramatically since Quibi launched and our standalone business model is no longer viable.”
The streaming service has more than 100 original series spanning a range of genres with episodes specifically designed for viewing on smartphones and lasting no more than 10 minutes each, according to the startup.
“We have assembled a world-class creative and engineering team that has created an original platform fueled by groundbreaking technology and IP, enabling consumers to view premium content in a whole new way,” Katzenberg said.
Quibi now plans to wind down operations and sell off its assets.
The fledgling platform scored 10 Emmy nominations including for cop spoof revival Reno 911! and dystopian thriller Most Dangerous Game including two Emmy wins for actors in “#FreeRayshawn.”
The multi-billion-dollar streaming platform had bet it could transform entertainment with short, Hollywood-quality clips.
‘Big idea’ gone bust
Industry legends and stars from Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro to Jennifer Lopez and Reese Witherspoon were among those who lined up to make movies and shows for the youth-focused, smartphone-only service.
Quibi had also hoped to keep users coming back with daily news, sports and entertainment shows.
“Our failure was not for lack of trying; we’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us.”
Taking on titans
While Quibi specialised in short-form shows to watch during spare minutes of the day, say waiting for transit or taking a break at work, people who hunkered down at home due to the coronavirus pandemic found time for big-screen options in an increasingly competitive streaming television market.
Meanwhile Netflix has added 28.1 million paying subscribers so far this year, reporting this week that it now has slightly more than 195 million total subscribers.
Netflix and rival Amazon Prime invest billions of dollars in original content to win fans and keep them loyal.
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