Quibi, which stands for “Quick Bites,” debuted in April, specializing in content that was no longer than 10 minutes.
In a letter posted on Medium, founder, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and CEO, Meg Whitman, shared how disheartened they were to pull the plug on their “big idea.”
“We started with the idea to create the next generation of storytelling and because of you, we were able to create and deliver the best version of what we imagined Quibi to be,” the letter said. “So it is with an incredibly heavy heart that today we are announcing that we are winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets.”
“Quibi was a big idea and there was no one who wanted to make a success of it more than we did,” the statement continued. “Our failure was not for lack of trying; we’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us. While the result was not what any of us wanted, we did accomplish a number of things and we are very proud of what the talented Quibi team has built with the blood, sweat, and tears that they poured into this business over these past two years.”
The note continued by acknowledging the creatives, engineers, employees and advertisers who worked with the company.
Pondering why the service did not succeed as they had hoped, Katzenberg and Whitman said they believed that either their idea wasn’t strong enough, or that launching during a pandemic proved detrimental.
“As entrepreneurs our instinct is to always pivot, to leave no stone unturned -- especially when there is some cash runway left -- but we feel that we’ve exhausted all our options,” the letter stated. “As a result we have reluctantly come to the difficult decision to wind down the business, return cash to our shareholders, and say goodbye to our colleagues with grace. We want you to know we did not give up on this idea without a fight.”
The two added that they are proud of the content Quibi had produced and plan to find buyers for the material in coming months, with the hope that they can “leverage them to their full potential.”
Projects launched by the platform included unscripted content from Teigen (Chrissy’s Court,) Reese Witherspoon (Fierce Queens) and Cardi B (Skrrt with Offset).
The “movies in sections” category meanwhile featured content starring Liam Hemsworth (Most Dangerous Game) and John Travolta (Die Hart).