Just six months after launching, Quibi, the short-form entertainment service for mobile devices, is shutting down. But how much longer do subscribers have before the streaming service goes dark? In a message to its customers Thursday, just a day after announcing the service was nearing the end of the road, the company revealed subscribers have just a little more than a month to enjoy the platform's "quick bites."
According to Variety, Quibi told subscribers that it plans to officially kill the service "on or about" Dec. 1, which is less than two months away and an end date that would come just eight months after its April launch date. However, as of Thursday afternoon, despite the impending lights out, the service was still prompting first-time downloaders to create an account, which comes with a 14-day free trial and asking returning users to subscribe for $4.99 per month with ads or $7.99 without ads. Variety notes that a notice informing new and returning subscribers of the upcoming shut down was not given.
After being founded in Los Angeles as NewTV back in August 2018, the streaming service officially launched as Quibi on April 6, 2020, with its selling point being "quick bites" of content for mobile devices only. Founded by Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and former HP CEO Meg Whitman, the service had managed to sign big names such as Chrissy Teigen and Idris Elba for its short-form programming. In its Thursday message to customers, the company said it is unsure what will happen to its content catalog.
"At this time, we do not know if the Quibi content will be available anywhere after our last day of service," the company said. "We recommend following [Quibi] on Twitter for any news regarding content."
According to a Tuesday report from The Information, Quibi had attempted to sell its content catalog to Facebook and NBCUniversal to recoup some of the company's investors' losses. However, the company had difficulty selling itself due to its two-year ownership contracts, which would require any buyer to purchase Quibi's technology.
Announcing the shutdown Wednesday, Katzenberg and 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." The streaming service launched in the midst of a global pandemic, which left people cash strapped and amid the ongoing streaming wars, going up against the likes of Netflix and Disney+, which allow for streaming on TV. The company said, "all that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down."