*Quibi, the shortform mobile streaming service that went bust six months after it launched, is currently “in advanced talks” about selling its catalog to Roku.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal has not been formally reached and “could still fall apart.”
We previously reported… Quibi founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman confirmed in a Medium post in October that the platform would be going out of business.
“We started with the idea to create the next generation of storytelling and because of you, we were able to create and deliver the best version of what we imagined Quibi to be. So it is with an incredibly heavy heart that today we are announcing that we are winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets.” Katzenberg and Whitman wrote in their open letter to employees, investors, and partners.
Katzenberg explained his belief that the COVID-19 pandemic was largely to blame for the app’s failure to launch successfully.
“I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus. Everything,” he told the New York Times in May of last year. “But we own it.”
Quibi launched in April at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The streamer offered a free trial, with subscriptions costing $4.99 with ads or $7.99 without ads, for more than 100 original programs.
“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. Unfortunately, we will never know but we suspect it’s been a combination of the two,” the founders wrote in their Medium blog.
Whitman said prior to launching the app that she wasn’t concerned about the coronavirus impact on the start-up.
“Think about how often you use your phone when you’re homebound,” she said. “People who are home with their children would really like a 10-minute break.”