Streaming service is shutting down just six months after its launch.
Launched in April, Quibi – short for “quick bites” – produced original TV shows designed to be watched on a mobile phone, with episodes clocking in at under 10 minutes each.
The app was sold on the idea that users could enjoy Quibi shows while commuting to work, a premise that was rendered virtually pointless by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday (21 October), the company announced that it would be winding down operations and selling its assets and catalogue after struggling to find customers.
Speaking of the app’s closure, founder and CEO Meg Whitman said: “Quibi is not succeeding.
“Likely for one of two reasons: because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing,” they continued. “Unfortunately, we will never know but we suspect it’s been a combination of the two.”
Before it launched, Quibi raised $1.75bn (£1.3bn) from investors, with the likes of , and signing up to create video content for the app.
Spielberg’s horror series for Quibi, After Dark, was never released. It was due to be Spielberg's first writing project since 2001’s AI Artificial Intelligence and was unusual in that it could only be watched in a dark room.
In its first week, the app amassed 1.7 million downloads, but quickly dropped out of the top 40 free apps on US iTunes altogether, even with viewers given a 90-day free trial to the usually paid-for videos.
However, while none of its shows managed to take off commercially, a number received critical success, with the platform earning 10 nominations at the 2020 Emmy Awards, of which crime drama #FreeRayshawn took home two.
Most recently, it was announced that Samuel L Jackson and Ryan Reynolds would be for Quibi. It is not clear whether the show will now be cancelled or air elsewhere.
Additional reporting by AP