As of today, Quibi, the mobile exclusive mobile streaming service, is no more. So much money was raised by founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, so much A-list talent recruited, and, as far as we’re concerned, so many projects from the folks we love were green lit.
There was a Joel Kim Booster take on Jane Austen, GAYME SHOW from Matt Rogers and Dave Mizzoni, Will Smith’s This Joka stand-up showcase series, Atsuko Okatsuka’s Let’s Go Atsuko, new episodes of Reno 911, a Guy Branum take on How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and the return of Arturo Castro’s Alternatino, just to name a few.
Unfortunately, the launch of Quibi coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic tightening its grip on the world, especially in the U.S.. Similarities in the trajectory of another shuddered streaming service, Seeso, makes us think that the pandemic wasn’t entirely to blame. The angle of providing “quick bite” (i.e. the origin of the name “Quibi”) sized content on mobile devices only (as well as pushing the selling point of switching between watching something in landscape and portrait mode in real time) seems short sighted and, ultimately, not unique enough to keep subscribers after their free trial ended.
One can only hope that the mountain of content that they built will all find a home somewhere. So much of the content we mentioned as well as projects that were in development from the likes of Nikki Glaser, Allen Strickland Williams, and more is something we would eventually like to see, though probably on a laptop or TV.