R.I.P. Quibi: What Was the “Quick Bite” Streaming Service That Quickly Bit the Dust?

Photo Courtesy: Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Quibi

Quibi was a streaming service that launched on April 6th, 2020 only to shut down in October that same year. Quibi was so short-lived, that many of you probably haven't even heard of it until today. If you fall into that confused category, allow us clear things up for you.

Founded in 2018 by former Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, Quibi was a streaming service led by CEO Meg Whitman — yes, of Hewlett Packard Enterprise fame. According to the folks at Quibi, the service was aimed at a younger demographic with its content being delivered in the form of short, 10-minute episodes called "quick bites," hence the platform’s goofy-sounding name. After raising $1 billion in funding from major investors like The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia and others, Quibi commissioned a slew of original content — 8,500 quick bites (or episodes) and over 175 shows — for its first year.

Months after the muddled, star-packed Super Bowl 2020 ads, and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Quibi was finally launched in April. Deadline reported that, in its first day, Quibi was installed by 300,000 users across Apple and Android devices, which isn’t terrible, but it also isn’t Disney+’s 4 million launch-day installs. In fact, in its first week Quibi reached 1.7 million downloads, according to Whitman.  The quirky platform's slow start would prove to be symptomatic of the platform’s larger issues.