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Unexpectedly, but at the same time, somewhat expectedly, Quibi has confirmed it is shutting down. The streaming service only launched a few months ago, but in that time has come under criticism from many. This is in addition to an unfortunate launch timing, considering the service’s premise didn’t exactly cater to life during a pandemic.
While many had questioned the longevity of a service like Quibi, it had seemed like the company was beginning to make changes that would have added value to the service. For example it only very recently opened up device support to include Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Apple TV.
In spite of the recent changes, Quibi confirmed in an open letter that it is now in the process of shutting the business down and is actively attempting to sell the content and technology assets. The letter explains that this is not a decision that’s been taken lightly, but the company feels there are no more approaches left for it to try. The open letter came shortly after The Wall Street Journal broke the news.
A streaming service not of this age
Quibi faced two major issues, both of which the company acknowledges in its open letter as likely to have been equally impacting. The first is the actual idea of a streaming service that’s specifically designed to be watched on a mobile device. The second was the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Quibi had plenty of control over the first issue and actively wanted to reshape how video is streamed, the second issue was more a case of unfortunate timing. With so many people having to stay home more often, the value in a service that can only be watched on a mobile device was greatly reduced before Quibi even launched.
Over time, Quibi did try to alter course by quickly adding AirPlay and Chromecast support, before then opening up the app to more living room devices powered by Amazon, Apple, and Google’s platforms. However, the change in direction appeared to have happened too late.
The open letter does go on to explain that the company had enough cash left that it could have continued to try, but noted how it has “exhausted all our options.” As a result, Quibi says it made the decision to close while offering an apology to those that were either disappointed or let down by the short-lived service.
Source: Quibi (Medium)