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Short-Form Streaming Service Quibi Will Shut Down in December Less Than Eight Months After Launching

Its bite-sized format — streaming movies and shows in ten-minute portions — failed to attract an audience.
By Sarah Ward
November 03, 2020
By Sarah Ward
November 03, 2020

When Quibi launched in Australia and New Zealand back in April, it added yet another streaming platform to the already lengthy list of services competing for your eyeballs, especially in this stay-at-home, pandemic-afflicted year. This newcomer came with a few twists — serving up its content in small chunks of up to ten minutes in length, designing it all for viewing on your phone, and eventually letting folks watch for free and allowing streaming from users' phones to their TVs, too — but it's now completely pulling the plug.

Less than eight months after it kicked off, Quibi will close down, informing customers that it'll end "on or about December 1, 2020". In mid-October, it was revealed that the service would shutter after failing to both attract a big subscriber based and, once the company's powers-that-be realised that it was struggling, to attract a buyer.

It shouldn't really come as a surprise that, when we're all spending more time at home during a global health crisis, folks didn't just want to view things by themselves on a tiny phone screen — and that by the time Quibi added Airplay and Chromecast capabilities, the world had largely dismissed the platform. There's also the fact that viewers have a seemingly never-ending array of new streaming services to choose from, so one dedicated to movies and TV shows in bite-sized pieces was probably never going to stand out.

Quibi had big aims, both when it launched and in the years beforehand — including hitting 175 different shows and 7000 episodes in its first year. Boasting a name that's been shortened from 'quick bites', it was created by ex-Disney chairman and DreamWorks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg, and is led by former eBay president and CEO Meg Whitman. Before it launched, it had been in the works since 2018. And, it had earned ample attention thanks to its huge stash of cash (reportedly raising $1.75 billion to spend on content), as well as its hefty array of stars and shows.

If you still have a subscription and you're keen to check out Quibi's slate of shows over the next month — including new version of Punk'd hosted by Chance the Rapper, Chrissy Teigen presiding over small claims cases in the Judge Judy-style Chrissy's Court and a Reese Witherspoon-narrated documentary series about females in natural history — you can still do so. Your access won't be renewed once your bill period ends, though. So, for now, you still have a short amount of time left to watch Anna Kendrick befriend a sex doll, follow the twists of horror-thriller The Stranger or work your way through a new version of The Fugitive.

Some of Quibi's other highlights include mockumentary Nikki Fre$h, which follows Nicole Richie's efforts to become a wellness-focused rapper; cooking competition show Dishmantled, where host and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess shoots food at two culinary industry figures, then forces them to try to recreate the dish in question; and Lena Waithe-hosted documentary series You Ain't Got These, about sneaker culture. There's also Flipped, starring Will Forte and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Kaitlin Olson as a down-on-their-luck couple desperate to host their own TV renovation series; Most Dangerous Game, the latest twist on the humans-hunting-humans idea, this time with Christoph Waltz and Liam Hemsworth; and Survive, which casts Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner as a suicidal patient suddenly forced to fight for her life after a plane crash. Or, you can watch luxury dog houses come to life in Barkitecture.

Quibi will shut down on December 1, 2020. For further details, visit the Quibi website.

Published on November 03, 2020 by Sarah Ward


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