The company, led by founder and ex-movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, also said it doesn’t know what will happen to the dozens of original shows on Quibi, which it has licensed from a range of A-list Hollywood talent and media companies.
“At this time we do not know if the Quibi content will be available anywhere after our last day of service,” the L.A.-based startup said in a message on its customer-support site. The message added, “We recommend following #Quibi on Twitter for any news regarding content.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the Quibi app was still prompting first-time downloaders to create an account (with a 14-day free trial) and asking returning users to subscribe for $4.99 per month with ads or $7.99 without ads — with no obvious notice that the service will soon be going dark.
Quibi’s partners had no advance warning about its shutdown, and many are scrambling to find new homes for their productions. CBS Studios, for one, intends to shop the Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz dystopian action series “Most Dangerous Game” (which garnered two short-form Emmy nominations) to other outlets. Quibi had renewed it for a second season prior to folding.
On Wednesday, Quibi — which had banked $1.75 billion in funding — announced that its board had decided to wind down operations and attempt to sell its content and technology assets.
“Quibi has made the difficult decision to wind down. We anticipate that the service will end streaming on or about December 1, 2020,” the company said in the help-site article, titled “Quibi End of Life Announcement.”
“We appreciate the support we have received from our customers and want to thank you for giving us an opportunity to entertain you,” the company continued, adding that customers (for now) can still access customer support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katzenberg, in a statement yesterday, admitted that “our standalone business model is no longer viable” while also saying “the world has changed dramatically since Quibi launched” on April 6 — revealing that he still ultimately blames the COVID pandemic for his brainchild’s failure to take off.
Quibi said remaining cash on hand will be returned to investors, which include Disney, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment and ViacomCBS.