Quibi Calls it Quits After Only Six Months

Quibi, the short form video streaming service designed for your phone, is now folding after six months, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company’s founders, former Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman and former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said the pandemic most likely contributed to the company’s demise as well as the fact the concept behind it may not have made such an app feasible.

“Quibi was a big idea and there was no one who wanted to make a success of it more than we did,” the founders wrote in an open letter to investors and employees. “Our failure was not for lack of trying; we’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us.”

Quibi, which launched with two dozen shows, will pay its employees severances as a result of the layoffs. Shows on Quibi, which ran for five to 10 minutes, included Punk’d hosted by Chance the Rapper, a comedy sketch show by Nicole Richie, and a cooking show hosted by Titus Burgess, according to Yahoo News. However, all of the shows had fewer viewers than expected with the service losing 92 percent of the users who signed up after their free trials ended, according to BoingBoing.

Quibi’s founders now hope to be able to give investors as much capital back as possible and sell the company’s technology and content. Katzenberg had raised nearly $2 billion to fund Quibi. Google and several Hollywood movie studios were among the companies backing it.