Coming on the heels that Quibi, the mobile streaming service launched amid great fanfare and nearly $2 billion in start-up capital by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, would be shuttering a mere six months after launching, we now know the final day of service for the failed streaming experiment.
The announcement has been made that Quibi’s “last day of service” will be December 1, 2020. A self-described “end of service announcement” on the FAQ section of the app had this to say about the final day of service:
“Quibi has made the difficult decision to wind down. We anticipate that the service will end streaming on or about December 1, 2020. We appreciate the support we have received from our customers and want to thank you for giving us an opportunity to entertain you. If you have any questions or need assistance in any way, please contact us at [email protected]“
The December date is much faster than originally indicated. When it was announced that the platform would be shutting down, it was suggested that it would take several months for the service to officially go dark. There is no official word as to why the timetable was accelerated but what is known is that about 200 employees will soon be out of jobs and it’s like the end of the road for Quibi series such as Emmy winner #FreeRayshawn, the Liam Hemsworth-fronted Most Dangerous Game, Dummy with Anna Kendrick and the remake of The Fugitive with Kiefer Sutherland. Say what you want about Quibi, no one could really shame their content which attracted high-profile names and seemed to showcase stories that were worthy of telling. There is no word if Katzenberg and Whitman can find buyers for any of the content and the “end of service announcement” additionally says “At this time we do not know if the Quibi content will be available anywhere after our last day of service. We recommend following #Quibi on Twitter for any news regarding content.”
Quibi really is one pricey misfire & its failure is being looked at closely by its streaming competition. Quibi’s launch was complicated by the coronavirus but it was made more problematic by arriving at a hectic moment for the overall streaming marketplace. Four other billion-dollar subscription services from Apple, Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal have hit the market since last November, & they all were competing with the already existing Netflix, Hulu & Amazon. Quibi’s “quick bite programming”, which may have sounded stellar in a pitch meeting, just didn’t fly in a market that was already crowded and thriving.
Quibi spent a lot on promotion with multiple TV spots during the Oscars & Super Bowl but the return on investment wasn’t there. In its first 90 days, during a free trial period, the streaming app was downloaded 5.6 million times, the company said last month. Only a small percentage of those downloads converted to subscribers paying $5 a month or $8 for an ad-free version.
So, what’s the verdict? Are YOU sad to officially see Quibi go dark? Where do YOU think things went wrong? As a reminder, if you are a Quibi user, you can enjoy its content until the service is no more on December 1, 2020.