"The pandemic gives them a good excuse for their failure, but I think the real problem was that the idea of episodic content in five-minute chunks isn't what people are looking for on their smartphone: they want the six second dance moves on TikTok or an influencer video on YouTube or Instagram", said Jim Nail, principal analyst at the consultancy Forrester.
Inspired by the stratospheric rise in video-on-demand platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+, Quibi was an attempt to distil human's social media behaviour down into one platform.
Quibi co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said earlier this year that the people using his product might be "in between home-schooling or doing chores around the house, or answering emails and being on video chats".
But Quibi struggled to reach viewers from the outset, despite offering a 90-day free trial. Initially exclusive to iOS and Android mobile devices, access later expanded to Chromecast and AirPlay. Katzenberg called Quibi's launch "not close to what we wanted", and the service ended up with an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 subscribers.
It's unclear when Quibi will go offline and what'll happen to its content, but an official announcement of the shutdown will most likely appear soon with those details.
The platform will remain online while operations are wound down.
In an open letter, Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman bluntly declared: "Quibi is not succeeding". Engadget reports that the service's founders stated the idea behind Quibi might have not been strong enough.
"Unfortunately, we will never know but we suspect it's been a combination of the two".
Industry legends and stars from Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro to Jennifer Lopez and Reese Witherspoon were among the stars who lined up to make movies and shows for the youth-focused, smartphone-only service.
But the shows never achieved big name recognition, even though the platform scored some Emmys earlier this year.
Katzenberg and Whitman said they'll start winding down the business and selling off content and technology assets. That means most investors will lose money.