It was meant to be the gamechanger: short-form video content perfectly tailored for a millennial attention span, and delivered to them in the only way they consume that content, on their phones.

But now, just six months after it was born, Quibi is officially shutting down.

In Australia, you can be forgiven for shooting a quizzical look if someone mentions Quibi.

This composite released by Quibi shows a selection of images from programs offered on the new Quibi service, from left, Anna Kendrick from “Dummy,” Sophie Turner, who stars in “Survive,” Liam Hemsworth, who stars in “Most Dangerous Game,” Chrissy Teigen in “Chrissy’s Court” and Chance the Rapper in “Punk’d.”. (AP)

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.

Every show, nicknamed a “Quibi”, was no longer than 10 minutes and was designed to be watched vertically on a smartphone – the same way we consume thousands of bite-size Facebook and Instagram videos.

Users were offered two subscription tiers: a $4.99 a month fee to watch content with ads, or a $7.99 a month fee to watch content without.

Here in Australia, sign up rates were so poor that in August they allowed Australian users to try Quibi for free with ads, and lowered its monthly subscription to $AUD 6.99 a month.

It barely kicked up any dust in Australia, but in the US the hype train was steaming: stars such as Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lopez, Reese Witherspoon and Lebron James signed on to contribute to making “Quibis”.

This image released by Quibi shows Tye Sheridan in a scene from “Wireless” which follows a college student navigating the snowy Colorado mountains. (AP)

Then there was the money. Quibi raised $USD 1.75 billion ($AUD 2.45 billion) from investors who believed that quick, mobile-led content would essentially pull the carpet out from bigger players.

But today Quibi’s founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said he had seen the writing on the wall, unable to tell if COVID-19 killed his idea, or he did.

“With the dedication and commitment of our employees and the support we received from our investors and partners, we created a new form of mobile-first premium storytelling,” Mr Katzenberg said in an open letter to shareholders and users.

“And yet, 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. The circumstances of launching during a pandemic is something we could have never imagined but other businesses have faced these unprecedented challenges and have found their way through it. We were not able to do so.”

Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi, and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. (AP)

Mr Katzenberg said the platform will be winding down business and will be looking to sell its content and technology assets to another provider.

“We opened the door to the most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood to innovate from script to screen and the result was content that exceeded our expectations,” Mr Katzenberg said.

“We challenged engineers to build a mobile platform that enabled a new form of storytelling — and they delivered a groundbreaking and delightful service.

“And we were joined by ten of the most important advertisers in the world who enthusiastically embraced new ways for their brands to tell their stories.”

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