22 OCT 2020

QUIBI SHUTS DOWN SEVEN MONTHS AFTER LAUNCHING

The app initially received 2.7 million downloads, but its conversion of less than 10% from free trial to paying for the service suggested that users weren't impressed with the content of the service.

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Quibi announced its decision to shut down seven months after launching on the market. The short-form streaming company, founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman addressed and confirmed the cancellation in an open letter, stating that it is “winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets,” and that it had “considered and exhausted every option available” tocontinue the streaming service.

Despite an initial launch window during which the app received more than 2.7 million downloads, the company didn't receive the best feedback.The pandemic coincded with the launch, placing Quibi in a period that contradicted the service's main purpose. Its conversion rate of less than 10% from its free trial indicated that users were simply not interested in the platform and its content. The data indicates that approximately 72,000 people were converted into paying subscribers at the end of its three-month trial.

Within a month of launching, Quibi had roughly 1.3 million active users, a tiny portion of the 50 million and 183 million users Disney+ and Netflix had at the time. The app struggled with mediocre content reviews and the departure of its head of brand and content marketing shortly after its launch. As of July, Quibi said it had 5.6 million downloads.

The timing of Quibi’s launch not only coincided with the global pandemic, but also with the meteoric rise of TikTok. One of its final attempts to attract additional viewers was the launch of CTV apps on Apple TV, Android TV, and Fire TV, but the move didn't result to be much of a solution. Subscriptions for the app were priced at USD 4.99 per month with ads and USD 7.99 without.

Recent reports suggested that Katzenberg, in an attempt to recover some of the massive amounts of money which went into content and tech production, had been shopping some of Quibi’s content to the likes of NBCUniversal and Facebook. When the efforts failed, Katzenberg reportedly tried to get Facebook and NBCUniversal to at least pick-up Quibi’s content, with no success. Most of the streamer's big-budget shows will be housed on alternative platforms as the service will attempt to sell both the content and the underlying technology used in its apps in the coming months.

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