Enlarge /. It's not a great tombstone, but … well, we'll just leave it at that. RIP Quibi.
Quibi, the video streaming service that revolves around smartphone screens, is no longer there, according to the Wall Street Journal.
After starting this April with an infusion of $ 1.75 billion in cash and the leadership of former NBC bigwig Jeffrey Katzenberg, the service ends as part of the closure of its holding company Quibi Holdings LLC, ”says the WSJ According to the report, news was sent directly from Katzenberg to the LLC's investors on Wednesday.
The writing appeared to be on the wall as soon as Quibi's main selling point – quick burst videos that should attract the average smartphone user on the go – fell apart after coronavirus-related shutdowns in the US. (People just didn't watch videos on their phones as often this year, while commuting on crowded trains or walking to and from schools and universities, for example.) That problem was exacerbated by Quibi's surprising lack of home-friendly ways to watch content with With zero major launches on set-top platforms like Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV.
That fact wasn't made clear to critics until Quibi launched, which is the main reason I had something nice to say about it when the service went live. As I wrote in April:
Quibi's preview got me so entertained that I could recommend installing the service's generous 90-day trial at launch, even though Murder House Flip ended up being one of the platform's more boring options, "that could have been on regular TV" . After the trials expire, the service will cost $ 5 per month with ads or $ 8 per month without ads. Until then, we'll see how the daily, message-driven content (not available in preview form) fits into the Quibi entertainment pledge designed around smartphone consumption. And in the meantime, I hope Quibi doubles that Sesame Street-like quality and boosts the nerdy content. YouTube is proof that the eight-minute format is great for gadgets, gaming, science, and health, which Quibi is sorely lacking at the time of going to press.
This generous free trial period clearly did not convince enough paying Quibi customers, and fire sale offers soon followed, especially last month in the form of a free six-month raffle for members as part of a weekly T-Mobile Tuesday promotion.