Quibi, an American short-form streaming platform, is shutting down its business operations after 6 months of its launch.
It was an abrupt ending for Quibi founded by big names in entertainment and business worlds and seemed poised to reinvent the streaming TV game.
“Quibi was founded to create the next generation of storytelling,” founder and board Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg said in the statement.
“The world has changed dramatically since Quibi launched and our standalone business model is no longer viable.”
The developing Quibi, reportedly raising almost $2 billion with former HP CEO Meg Whitman onboard as its CEO.
“While we have enough capital to continue operating for a significant period of time, we made the difficult decision to wind down the business, return cash to our shareholders and say goodbye to our talented colleagues with grace,” Whitman added in the statement.
In an open letter to “employees, investors and partners” posted online, Katzenberg and Whitman wrote, “Quibi was a big idea and there was no one who wanted to make a success of it more than we did. Our failure was not for lack of trying; we’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us.”
The service launched in April just as COVID-19 was starting to upend the world. Its meltdown has set tongues wagging in the ultra-competitive Hollywood and tech trenches, as Quibi ranks among the priciest misfires of any entertainment-related startup.
However, its failure will put about 200 employees out of work, punctuating an already grueling time for the entertainment sector.
Questions will swirl around the fate of its roster of “quick bite” programming from A-list creators like Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Antoine Fuqua and also which investors will take the steepest losses.