Quibi is a brand new streaming service that launched on April 6, 2020. Its purpose is to provide consumers with short content. (Quibi stands for “quick bites.”) All of the episodes found on the Quibi app run between 6-10 minutes so viewers can watch them on the go. In fact, Quibi only works on your phone.
Leading up to its launch, Quibi aggressively made deals with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Think Idris Elba, Sophie Turner, Chrissy Tiegen, Jennifer Lopez, Liam Hemsworth, and many more. The star-power behind the new streaming service has been enough to get people buzzing, but consumers have been a bit hesitant to proclaim Quibi the new Netflix. At least, not yet.
Quibi seems to know its target audience might be a bit skeptical about the new phone-based format, not to mention the big ask of paying for yet another streaming service.
Quibi plans and pricing
|Quibi (With ads)||Quibi No ads|
|Number of TV shows and films||50+||50+|
|Streaming quality||1080p max||1080p max|
Quibi supported devices
Quibi is available exclusively on smartphones right now. The service works best when consumed in small bites, preferably while you’re on the go. So there’s no app (yet) for tablets, TVs, or even web browsers. To watch, you’ll need to download the Quibi app through the App Store or Google Play and watch on one of the following devices:
- Android Phone (OS 7.1 or higher)
- iPhone (iOS 11.0 or above)
What to watch on Quibi
Quibi launched with 50 shows, and the streaming service plans on pumping out a lot more content in the coming weeks and months. These shows break down into three general categories:
- Movies in Chapters
- Daily Essentials
- Unscripted and Documentaries
Movies in Chapters
In the Movies in Chapters category, you’ll find movies like Survive (starring Sophie Turner) and The Most Dangerous Game (starring Liam Hemsworth). These movies come in 6-10 minute quick bites, with new episodes debuting every weekday until the entirety of the movie is released. Quibi plans on releasing 35 of these Movies in Chapters this year alone.
The Daily Essentials category includes shows that are, as the name suggests, daily. These Quibi TV shows center around news and culture, spanning from entertainment gossip on Close Up! by E! News to lifestyle advice on The Rachel Hollis Show. You’ll find new episodes uploaded every weekday.
Unscripted and Documentaries
In the Unscripted and Documentary category, Quibi offers reality TV shows like Chrissy’s Courtroom, where Chrissy Tiegen serves as a courtroom judge. Or Dishmantled, a cooking competition hosted by Tituss Burgess, where competitors have to recreate a meal based on the tastes they perceive after a cannon shoots a dish into their face. There are also documentary series, like Reese Witherspoon’s Fierce Queens. Witherspoon about the females of the animal kingdom. All of these shows are also updated with new episodes appearing every weekday.
Quibi’s unique feature is its Turnstyle format, which allows you to watch your phone both in landscape and portrait mode. You don’t have to choose which one you prefer for the video, either. You can flip back and forth as you watch. Doing this changes what you see on the screen, with some of Quibi’s scripted shows providing entirely different experiences depending on the orientation.
Unlike other streaming services, Quibi can only be watched by one person, on their phone, on the go. It doesn’t offer simultaneous viewing options. With that in mind, it’s not built for family viewing. Technically, Quibi allows logins from multiple devices, but it only lets viewers enjoy content on one screen at a time. There’s no option for individual user profiles to be created within the account, either. So you won’t be able to watch at the same time as another family member.
Within the app, you can favorite shows to easily access them again. You can also program your settings, so you receive notifications for new episodes.
Everything on Quibi is on-demand — the service does not offer DVR storage. You can access its entire library at any time, and you can download shows to watch offline, as well. All shows, while streaming or downloading, can be viewed in 1080p. That’s enough definition to provide crisp images on most mobile phones. However, you have the option to watch in lower resolutions if need be. This is helpful if you have a limited amount of data, as Quibi’s videos can use up even more data than most videos due to its Turnstyle double-stream.
The service doesn’t offer parental controls.
The final cut
It’s yet to be seen whether Quibi can stand the test of time against the big players like Amazon, Disney+, and Netflix. That said, it’s an intriguing concept, with some big-name celebrities involved. The service is nowhere close to rolling out its biggest talents yet, nor will its Turnstyle format be the only unique viewing experience. Steven Spielberg has an upcoming show called After Dark, that will only be available for users to watch at night that’s sure to be popular with viewers. Quibi seems determined to stake its claim as a new type of viewing experience. The service is best for viewers interested in cutting-edge, short-form entertainment.
With its impressive roster of shows, unique format, and generous free trials (sometimes up to 90 days!) there’s no reason not to give Quibi a try.
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