Founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, Quibi is a short-form startup company that has struggled to attract users in this very competitive streaming market. After being in business for less than 6 months, they are already considering options including selling it or merging with a special purpose acquisition company.
Launched on April 1, Quibi offered a variety of streaming content all under 10 minutes long The series was driven by several high-profile talents including Chrissy Teigen, Liam Hemsworth, and Anna Kendrick. The platform was created for users to have access to high-quality entertainment while on the go, and that seems to be where the problem lies. Quibi debuted during the pandemic allowing users to binge-watch a series to pass the time. As of June, the company reported 4.5 million downloads and 1.6 million subscribers which, in this day and age, is not an impressive amount.
According to a spokeswoman, Quibi successfully launched a new business while pioneering a new form of storytelling in a state-of-the-art platform. Meg and Jeffrey are committed to build the business in a way that will provide a great experience for customers, excellent value for shareholders, and a great opportunity for employees. All said, this statement does not seem to address their decision to sell it nor does it deny it.
Ideally, Quibi should have done really well as it’s a known fact that quick, digestible content is very popular, especially with the younger crowd. YouTube and TikTok have come to realize that short forms of entertainment are something people are looking for. The problem, users might not be ready to spend $4.99 or $7.99 without ads each month.
What the future holds for Quibi, only time will tell. Possibly with some tweaking and other strategies, Meg and Jeffrey will have time to turn things around.