Quibi Finally Launches On Apple TV, Android TV, And Amazon Fire TV, Just As The Service Is About To Shut Down

Quibi didn't find much success on our phones, so now the embattled streaming service is expanding to TV. The Quibi app has launched on Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV following months of struggling to find a footing as the premiere mobile streaming platform. But it appears to be too little too late, as the WSJ is reporting the service is shutting down.

Quibi quietly announced the rollout of its apps for Apple TV, Android TV and Fire TV in an updated support article (via The Verge), on the heels of the company's attempts to expand its outreach beyond mobile users — making its content more shareable in May, followed by Airplay and Chromecast rollouts.

But are these moves too little too late? The update comes in the wake of a new report in The Information that co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has attempted to sell Quibi's programming to Facebook and NBCUniversal, and that he may have plans to shut down the company entirely. This would align with a September Wall Street Journal report that the service is exploring "strategic options" including a potential sale. And now, WSJ says they have confirmed that the company is closing, reporting: "Quibi Holdings LLC is shutting itself down, according to people familiar with the matter, a crash landing for a once-highflying entertainment startup that raised $1.75 billion in capital."

Deadline adds: "Katzenberg and CEO Whitman are about to have a call with investors this afternoon to explain their decision to wind down the short-form video service after little more than six months. They are exploring options including selling content or the entire service in the hopes that a buyer emerges."

Quibi has struggled to establish itself as a strong streaming competitor since it launched in April, first fielding mockery of its name (short for "quick bites" in reference to its short 8-10 minute episodes to be watched on the go) before dealing with the unimpressed reception to its original content. Things would only get worse for Quibi, which saw a dramatic drop in subscribers after its 90-day trial offered at launch ended, and the loss of billions of dollars in its first quarter.

Katzenberg blamed the weak April 2020 launch of Quibi on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, claiming that lockdown had rendered his streaming service — designed for working people on the go to watch content while commuting or on their breaks — useless. The initial launch exclusively on phones didn't help matters, with Quibi impossible to watch on a TV. But now that problem is resolved, it's just a matter of no one caring about Quibi's original content.

Of course, this might not spell doom for Quibi. WSJ adds that one of the options being considered is "raising more money or going public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC—essentially a blank-check company that helps fund deals, the people said. Quibi is working with advisers to review its options." And perhaps a rollout on more TV platforms like Apple, Android, and Amazon Fire TV will put the streaming platform on more people's radars.