What lessons can be learned from Quibi’s failure?

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Quibi’s Failure

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you may have heard of Quibi, a video streaming platform that launched in 2020 and shut down in the same year.

Quibi was a bold attempt to revolutionize the way people consume video content, but it failed to gain traction and attract customers. What went wrong with Quibi, and what can you learn from its mistakes?

In this blog, we will analyze the reasons behind Quibi’s failure and the lessons it offers for other startups. We will also explore some of the alternatives to Quibi that you can use to stream short-form content on your mobile device.


What is Quibi?

Quibi was a short-lived streaming service that offered original content in episodes of 10 minutes or less, designed for mobile viewing. It was founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, and launched in April 2020 with a budget of $1.75 billion.

However, it failed to attract enough subscribers and advertisers and faced competition from other platforms like YouTube, Netflix, and TikTok. Quibi shut down in December 2020, after selling its content library to Roku for less than $100 million. 


Details of the Quibi:

Founders Jeffrey Katzenberg, Meg Whitman
Country United States
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Industry Video hosting service
Started in 2018
Closed in 2020
No. of employees 250-500 (at closing)
Funding Amount $1.75 Billion
Investors Disney, 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Viacom, Alibaba
Revenue $94 million (lifetime)
Products Quibi mobile video platform
Users over 5.6 million people have downloaded the Quibi app


How Did Quibi Fail, and Why

The reasons for Quibi’s failure told by the founder

Whitman and Katzenberg offered an explanation: “Quibi is not succeeding. Likely for one of two reasons: because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing.”

“Unfortunately, we will never know, but we suspect it’s been a combination of the two.” 



Timing? It might be a good excuse. So many reasons have been given for why Quibi’s streaming music service will fail in the future. These are:

1 Lack of experience in the saturated world of streaming services

Quibi has been criticized for having a saturated market in which it competes with other popular video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.

Quibi is not a music streaming service. It’s more like an entertainment platform that offers short videos and TV shows. The company has been criticized for not having experience in the industry, which can be seen as a reason why its streaming service failed to take off.

2 Unclear pricing model

Quibi is an upcoming video streaming service that will offer short-form content. The company is still in its beta phase and has not yet launched any content.

One of the challenges Quibi faces is that it does not have a transparent pricing model. It has two pricing plans: $4.99 per month for ad-free viewing and $7.99 for offline viewing on mobile devices.

This means that the company doesn’t have a clear idea of how much money it will make from each plan, which makes it hard to know how to price the service in general or what to charge for other features like offline viewing on mobile devices.

3 No original content or artists

Quibi is supposed to be a short-form video service for mobile devices with 10 minutes or shorter content. The Quibi app offers a selection of TV shows, movies, and other videos to stream instantly on smartphones.

In November 2018, Quibi announced it would be launching in April 2019. But in December 2018, they postponed their launch date to 2020 because they had not signed any original content deals or secured any artists yet.

4 No marketing campaign

The company didn’t have any effective marketing campaign for its product launch, which could be why it’s not as popular as expected. Quibi might need to rethink its strategy if it wants to compete with Netflix and HBO GO in the future.

Finally, they postponed their launch, and it is unclear if they will launch. They might need more time to think about how to do this before launching the app.


What Can Other Startups Learn From Quibi’s Mistakes?

Quibi was a major video streaming service that made headlines in the technology industry. Two former Walt Disney Company executives, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, created it. Quibi is an abbreviation for “quick bites” and provides short-form content to its viewers.

The company had a lot of problems with the distribution of its content. There were too many issues with the app, and it was not compatible with different devices like Roku or Apple TV.

In addition, Quibi had trouble getting advertisers on board because they didn’t think people would be willing to pay for such a service.

The company also faced difficulties getting its content on other platforms like Hulu or Netflix because the other companies wanted exclusive rights to the content.

Quibi also failed to attract any significant investors making it very difficult for them to stay afloat in this competitive industry where there are already so many competitors, such as


What Does the Future Hold for Quibi?

At this point, it is unclear what the future holds for Quibi. Some industry analysts believe that they may never actually launch, while others think that there is still a chance that they could overcome their challenges and become successful. Regardless of their fate, other startups can learn valuable lessons from Quibi’s failure. Should you subscribe to Quibi if it ever launches

While there is no guarantee that Quibi will eventually be successful, many people believe it could be a valuable service for those looking for high-quality short-form content. If you’re interested in streaming video on your mobile device, Quibi may be worth considering once they launch.


Alternatives to Quibi

There are many legal alternatives to Quibi, where you can stream music for free or cheaply. The 13 best free music streaming alternatives to Quibi in 2022. Past Quibi users will hopefully find a new niche streaming network to replace it.

Netflix – The most popular streaming service on the planet, Netflix has more than 140 million subscribers in 190 different countries worldwide.

Amazon Prime Video – With over 100 million paid memberships globally, Amazon Prime Video has been growing steadily in recent years. It offers a wide range of original content that can’t be found anywhere else on the web or a TV screen.

Disney+ – This service is exclusive to Disney customers and offers live TV channels for $50 per month with no contract.

Apple TV – Apple’s streaming service costs $59 per year. We may use your personal information to send marketing and promotional materials about our services.

YouTube – YouTube is one of the most popular online destinations, with over 1 billion monthly active users as of this writing. Its subscription service YouTube Red has been growing steadily in recent years.

Hulu – Hulu was launched in 2008 and is one of the most popular streaming services on the planet, with over 75 million subscribers worldwide.

Cinemax – Cinemax is the only television network with a legitimate subscription service with more than 1 billion members worldwide.

HBO Now – HBO Now has been growing steadily in recent years and works as a stand-alone streaming service of HBO but also includes access to other premium shows and movies on the network.

Showtime – Showtime offers one of the widest varieties of original content across all platforms and has been growing steadily in recent years.

Starz – Starz is the only premium network with exclusive rights to the service of movies and shows, giving them a monopoly over those particular films and shows.

Showtime Anytime – This is a streaming-only subscription service from Showtime that offers all content currently on Showtime.

Cable TV Networks Sling TV – SlingTV offers live television programming for $20 per month with no set contract length.

DirecTV Now – This streaming service from DirecTV offers live TV channels for $35 per month with no contract.



Quibi was a video streaming service that aimed to provide original and short-form content for mobile devices. However, the company failed to launch successfully and announced its shutdown in 2020, after only six months of operation. 

Quibi’s failure can be attributed to several factors, such as a saturated and competitive market, a lack of user demand, a flawed pricing model, a poor marketing strategy, and difficulty in securing content deals and distribution rights.

Quibi’s failure is a cautionary tale for other startups that want to enter the streaming industry, as it shows the importance of understanding the market, the customer, and the product. Quibi may have had a lot of good ideas and big names behind it, but the market didn’t want to take a chance on it.

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Henrik Lykke

Henrik Lykke

Henrik Lykke is a passionate music enthusiast and tech writer with over five years of experience in the field. His love for music and understanding of technology seamlessly blend together, creating informative and engaging content for readers of all technical levels.

Henrik's expertise spans across a diverse range of multimedia tools and services, including music streaming platforms, audio recording software, and media conversion tools. He leverages this knowledge to provide practical advice and insightful reviews, allowing readers to optimize their digital workflows and enhance their audio experience.

Prior to joining Cinch Solutions, Henrik honed his writing skills by contributing to renowned tech publications like TechRadar and Wired. This exposure to a global audience further refined his ability to communicate complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Henrik enjoys exploring the vast landscape of digital music, discovering new artists, and curating the perfect playlists for any occasion. This dedication to his passions fuels his writing, making him a trusted source for music and tech enthusiasts alike.

Henrik is a contributing writer for Cinch Solutions. He may receive a small commission for purchases made through links in his articles. However, the opinions and insights expressed are solely his own and based on independent research and testing.

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