Executives at Quibi, the spectacular disaster that no one asked for and evidently no one wants‚ may be looking to bail from their own failed experience.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal’s Benjamin Mullin reported Monday that Quibi “is exploring several strategic options including a possible sale,” a move that definitely does not give the impression that Quibi’s founders have a ton of faith in their own grand ambitions for the short-form, mobile-first streaming service. Other options could include a possible merger or additional funding rounds, the Journal reported. Though it’s possible the plans could change, things have been on fire at Quibi for months now as the service struggled to find any real footing.
“Quibi has successfully launched a new business and pioneered a new form of storytelling and state-of-the-art platform,” a Quibi spokesperson said in a statement by email. “Meg and Jeffrey are committed to continuing to build the business in the way that gives the greatest experience for customers, greatest value for shareholders and greatest opportunity for employees. We do not comment on rumor or speculation.”
While rival pay-to-stream services have seen their numbers balloon during the pandemic, Quibi has failed to make viewers care about its service—despite seemingly having every resource at its disposal to do so (its funding pre-launch funding was slightly under $2 billion). This was not made any better by the frankly outrageous ego pushing the brand ahead as a mobile-only product during a time when people were spending more time at home than ever, surrounded by their larger screens and virtually limitless content offerings from services for which they were already paying.
Quibi has since attempted to target viewers beyond the limitations of mobile-only streaming, both by supporting TV casting as well as more recently with movie-style screenings. But Quibi’s moment has come and passed, and it’s now competing not only against existing streaming behemoths like Disney+ and Netflix but a growing number of revamped and forthcoming services as well. That’s to say nothing of the legal skirmish it found itself in after the Quibi was accused of stealing its signature technology.
It should really come as very little surprise then that Quibi’s top executives—who took pay cuts earlier this year as the company looked at “tightening our belt,” per an internal memo—are exploring ways to make this fiasco someone’s else’s problem.
It was fun while it lasted, right?
Added comment from Quibi.