Quibi is the little short-form mobile video streamer that could not, as it turns out. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that amid mounting problems, the service has opted to shut itself down. Thus ends a year full of high-flying expectations for the entertainment start-up that raised $1.75 billion in capital.
Earlier in the year, Quibi was being hailed by founder Jeffrey Katzenberg–and many media outlets–as a revolutionary new combatant in the streaming wars, with its emphasis on short-form content specifically geared for mobile devices. But as Katzenberg explained in a call to investors, he was forced to shut down the business due to flagging viewer numbers, disappointing download numbers, and also an ongoing lawsuit from technology firm Eko over the ownership of the company’s streaming technology.
As recently as September, Quibi was reportedly exploring options to stay afloat by seeking an acquisition, but as the recent announcement signals, that did not pan out.
The service abruptly shuttering itself leaves in its wake tons of cued-up shows that are now effectively left in pipeline limbo. Shows like the planned Legends of the Hidden Temple reboot are now up in the air, and it would be reasonable to expect some sort of definitive announcement on how these shows might find another lifeline–as well as how to watch seasons of other cult hits that have already been broadcast, like the Quibi season of Reno 911!