Quibi succumbs to competition from Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and TikTok

Quibi succumbs to competition from Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and TikTok

The curtain falls on Quibi, the short video streaming app designed for smartphones launched just 6 months ago

Almost no one looked at Quibi. Only six months after its launch, the video streaming service is closing, capable of raising investments of 1.8 billion in a few weeks and attracting investors such as Disney, Alibaba and Warner Bros. Too little space in the world of online video.

The video platform designed for mobile was one of many in a number of new streaming services that have begun to challenge Netflix in recent years.

Over the past six months, the app has been trying to reach its subscriber growth goals, but in vain. Too little room for maneuver to find an idea capable of carving out a space between big names like Apple, Amazon and Netflix and businesses like TikTok and YouTube.

The founder of the company Jeffrey Katzenberg himself announced in a post on Medium , confirming the rumors collected in a preview of the Wall Street Journal . "We believe we have exhausted all of our options," the post reads.


Quibi launched on April 6, 2020, just over six months ago, with two plans: $ 4.99 (with ads) or $ 7.99 (without ads). The company's business model was based on products exclusively designed for smartphones, such as TV series. Each show was filmed and edited in both vertical and horizontal format, allowing it to be viewed in any orientation on a smartphone.

Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg's connections also helped line up stars to make and act in his videos, including Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Lopez.

Despite the names of important directors called to think of contents for the platform and two Emmy Awards won, the users remained few.


Not only that, the company also raised a whopping $ 1.75 billion from Hollywood giants like Walt Disney, NBCUniversal and AT&T's WarnerMedia.


Quibi has never confirmed the paid subscriber numbers, but in May Katzenberg told the NYT had 3.5 million downloads. Mobile research firm Sensor Tower estimates 9.6 million installations of Quibi's mobile app since its launch. This does not mean that they are actually users.

Too few anyway to survive in the digital jungle.


Katzenberg blamed the pandemic for Quibi's woes. The service struggled to reach viewers, despite a 90-day free trial, as short videos abound on the internet and the coronavirus pandemic has kept many people at home. Part of the appeal of the service, which started at $ 5 a month, had to be that you could watch short videos on the go, without access to a TV. Being stuck at home made TV more desirable than watching on a phone, and Quibi only later and slowly rolled out the TV options.

For some analysts, however, Quibi had nothing particularly innovative, nothing that was not already there in YouTube or TikTok, or other platforms. Thesis that also transpires from the letter that the founders sent to the employees: "The idea itself was not strong enough to justify a streaming service".

From what emerged in the US press, Katzenberg realizing the difficulties of climbing with that model would have tried before being acquired by Apple, Warner and Facebook. But the negotiations never took off. And in the same way, the attempt to have at least Quibi videos landed on Mark Zuckerberg's platform or on Nbc Universal was unsuccessful.


And here we are with today's announcement. “As a result, we arrived at the difficult conclusion of closing every business, returning the money to our creditors and shareholders and saying goodbye to our colleagues, not without pain”, reads the post signed by the founder.

The company said the money from the sale of its assets will pay off its liabilities and what remains will be returned to investors. Just over 350 million dollars remain in cash, then the curtain will finally fall on Quibi.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/innovazione/quibi-soccombe-alla-concorrenza-di-netflix-amazon-prime-youtube-e-tiktok/ on Thu, 22 Oct 2020 05:44:47 +0000.