Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s $1.75bn shortform content network Quibi is reportedly shutting down.
The mobile platform, which offered quick bites, known as “Quibis”, of films and shows lasting less than 10 minutes, launched in April with almost $2bn in investment, yet failed to meet its subscriber targets, amassing a string of negative reviews along the way despite big star names such as Jennifer Lopez, Reese Witherspoon, LeBron James and Steven Spielberg getting involved.
Reports suggested Katzenberg and Whitman had worked with a restructuring firm to find a buyer, yet were unable to attract one. The app currently has just 500,000 paying customers after attracting more than 7 million in its first year. The Wall Street Journal reported that investors were called today with the news, while its 200 employees will be told during a town hall.
“I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus,” Katzenberg said to the New York Times in a May video interview. “Everything. But we own it.”
It remains unclear as to what will happen to the content that has yet to be aired. The company does not own any of its many shows and films but has the rights to them for seven years, after which point the creators will then have the right to assemble and distribute them.
Quibi’s library includes an updated version of MTV’s Punk’d hosted by Chance the Rapper, a comedy about a sex doll called Dummy starring Anna Kendrick, a remake of The Fugitive with Kiefer Sutherland, and Chrissy’s Court, which sees Chrissy Teigen act as the judge for various small case claims.
A representative for Quibi has yet to make a formal statement.