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Image credit: Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images

Quibi's short life is over

Less than eight months after it arrived, the streaming service is dead.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
December 1, 2020
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Quibi poster in a New York subway station.
Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images

Less than a year after its arrival, the high-profile short-form video streaming service Quibi is no more. The company announced in October it would shut down “about” December 1st, but didn’t offer a concrete date for winding down its operations. That day has arrived, and Quibi is dead.

You’ll no longer be able to log in or access Quibi’s shows, which were presented in episodes of 10 minutes or shorter. However, as Variety notes, the now-useless app will remain on your device until you delete it.

Quibi seemed doomed from the outset. It had several factors working against it, including an abundance of competing streaming services and apps, while users were initially unable to watch its content anywhere other than on a mobile device. The COVID-19 pandemic, meanwhile, prompted many people who’d normally be commuting and watching things on a bus, train or subway to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Quibi was designed for on-the-go viewing.

Ultimately, though, the public just didn’t care enough. Research firm Kantar estimated the Quibi subscriber base dropped to 710,000 in the third quarter, a drop of around 400,000 from the previous quarter.

Quibi, which had raised $1.75 billion before its rollout in April, did have some successes. One of its projects, #FreeRayshawn, won a pair of acting Emmys in September. The company is now trying to sell its assets, so there’s a chance that shows such as that one might be available to stream elsewhere at some point.

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