More like QuiBYE - to Two Billion Dollars!
Founded just 2 years ago, Quibi was the brainchild of Jeffery Katzenberg. If you don't know him, you know his work. He was chairman of Disney Studios for a decade from the mid 80s, and oversaw many of their new classics, including Aladdin and The Lion King. He then teamed up with (among others) Steven Spielberg and formed DreamWorks Animation. During his time there, enduring franchises like Shrek and How To Train Your Dragon were created under his watch. The guy has predigree.
Which is probably how he managed to raise over two billion dollars for his start up. The idea was to take the production values of Netflix, which has a massive audience, and cut them into 10 minute segments, like the vlogs etc of Youtube, which have a massive audience. High quality shows, with bone fide stars, for people "on the go". There should be a massive audience. Watch an "episode" while waiting for the bus, or on your mid morning break at work. Potentially a great idea.
Big stars were brought on board. Kiefer Sutherland took a starring role in a remake of The Fugitive. Laim Hemsworth became the hunted in Most Dangerous Game. Sophie Turner fought against the elements in Survive. Kevin Hart and John Travolta took on Hollywood in Die Hart. Even after such a short life span, the network has been nominated for 10 Emmy Awards.
Except Quibi was a victim of 2020 long before it's closure. The app, which came with a free trial period, saw a couple of million downloads in it's first week, was released on April 6th. This was a few weeks after a worldwide pandemic was declared. People stopped going to work. People stopped getting the bus. The "inbetween" moments Quibi was made for, became the defining moments of the year. People were stuck in their houses and on their couches. Long play media became bigger than ever.
On October 21, 2020, just six months after Quibi's launch, The Wall Street Journal reported that the streaming service was shutting down. Out of the millions of app downloads and accounts created, only about 75,000 are full paying subscriptions.
Quibi will officially shut down "on or around" December 1st 2020.