6 Months in and Quibi is Supposedly Up for Sale

After only 6 months, is Jeffery Katzenberg selling Quibi

According to a WSJ report, Quibi has fallen on some hard times. With subscriptions low, Jeffrey Katzenberg is exploring a potential sale of the bite-size streaming platform. The company is supposedly considering other options, including another round of funding or going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.

A Quibi spokesperson said: “Quibi has successfully launched a new business and pioneered a new form of storytelling and state-of-the-art platform. Meg [Whitman] 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.”

That "no comment" neither confirms nor denies the report. But we didn't really expect them to either, right?

It's been said before, but Quibi debuted with nearly $2 billion in funding. They had stars like Kevin Hart, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Spielberg, and LeBron James creating titles. They have daily news shows and ongoing series but they never made a dent in the streaming wars. 

In June, Quibi was on pace to pull in 2 million subscribers by the end of the year, but they had hoped for almost 7 to 8 million. 

There was a lot of public backlash; you couldn't screenshot, broadcast on your TV, or share videos or clips with friends. This stuff has all been altered or changed but it didn't attract subscribers early on. 

Why would anyone want to buy Quibi? 

Well, the app is live and easy to access, with a catalog that can be grown or added to what someone already has. Plus, all the stars' shows are paid for. So they aren't going anywhere. Still, how much work needs to happen to resurrect the app? 

How can this stuff change? 

If you have ideas, let us know in the comments.      

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Your Comment


The concept was interesting, but there are way too many established platforms already in existence and the freemium model is winning right now. Subscription models in 2018 and beyond have no chance unless you have hundreds of millions to burn through...

September 21, 2020 at 2:30PM

Walter Wallace

They had BILLIONS to burn through and it still didn't work :). The key is not just money, but honestly pre-existing IP. It's depressing that it's hard to launch originals right now, but Apple went through this too; you need at least some "familiar" pre-existing IP for folks to latch onto to stand out in this marketplace.

September 22, 2020 at 2:56AM

Charles Haine
Filmmaker, Tech Nerd

Plus BAD UX. They wanted to keep everything locked in the Quibi ecosystem, and they weren't open to hearing criticism, but that's not how digital media in 2020 works. If it's not sharable/meme-able/etc. audiences can't "interact" with the content, and that lead to even more bad press beyond just the content offering.

September 22, 2020 at 5:25AM, Edited September 22, 5:25AM

Pat Heine

The concept itself has no merit. Pretty much like Instagram trying to over promote IGTV and Reels. No surprise.

September 21, 2020 at 11:03PM

Ronak Kamat
Writer, Filmmaker, Runner.

we're burning through money, and people are trashing us, and we have no subs, but hopefully you didn't notice any of those headlines as we try to sell you this boat anchor ..

September 22, 2020 at 4:59AM

stephen knifton
owner / creative director

I miss the good ol days when people would just put their 10 min shorts on vimeo :)

September 22, 2020 at 10:24AM