Quibi tanks, looks desperately for a buyer
A new report out of the WSJ states that Quibi is in dire straits and is currently exploring a handful of options including a sale. If you don't recall Quibi, it's a short form, mobile-first video service that features highly produced, highly polished entertainment strictly for smartphones.
The problem with Quibi is the massive hype and the massive amounts of money the company raised pre-launch (somewhere to the tune of $1.8 billion raised), and then, ultimately failing to turn into anything meaningful. Do you know what this reminds me of? An app you probably either never heard of or completely forgot about: Color. Another app that raised big money pre-launch, a paltry $41 million compared to Quibi's $1.8 billion, but then crashed and burned shortly after launch. I believe Apple ended up acqhiring many of the engineers there.
Nonetheless, I'm not sure who would want to buy Quibi, at least based on the business. They are expected to miss their subscriptions projections for the year by a large margin and they've been burning cash like crazy. Advertiser interest is also down due to the lower than expected viewership.
Frankly, I wouldn't touch Quibi with a 10-foot pole. It's probably best to let flounder on its own, eventually dying out. The only companies I could see potentially interested are Netflix, Amazon, and Wal-Mart (because this is 2020) but it also seems really unlikely any of them will want to pull the trigger on Quibi. If Quibi's content was so good, people would be talking about it. I don't think I've ever seen a single person talk about a Quibi show on Twitter since it launched – that tells me pretty much all I need to know. As for Quibi's Turnstyle technology, that also seemed like a dud upon arrival, plus it seems the company is currently in midsts of a lawsuit over it.
I'd be shocked if Quibi finds a buyer for the company but then again, Quibi founder, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Quibi CEO, Meg Whitman are quite well connected so I can't rule it out.
Here's a few quibi's (quick bites) I enjoyed on Twitter:
What do you think about Quibi? Have you tried it out? Any shows you thought were worth watching?
Update 10/21/20: Looks like Quibi will very likely be shutting down after all.