Short-form video streaming platform Quibi has already made significant waves in the media thanks to its partnership with Hollywood A-listers. This includes big names like Antoine Fuqua, Catherine Hardwicke, Guillermo del Toro, Sam Raimi, and Steven Spielberg.
Unlike most streaming services, this platform will take a mobile-first approach and focus on short-form, bite-sized storytelling. This means series will be break up two to four hours of content into multiple 10-minute segments. This unique format choice will set Quibi apart in an already crowded landscape, where streaming services have to fight to stand out.
Quibi expects to offer approximately 7,000 pieces of content within its first year and has already raised $1 billion to fund its upcoming projects.
Key Details Quibi Has Already Announced
- Price: Viewers will have access to the ad-supported version of Quibi for $5 per month. That’s on par with services like ESPN+ and Apple TV+ as well as the upcoming NBC Peacock. It costs slightly less than Hulu, which charges $6 per month for its basic, ad-supported version. Quibi also has a premium, ad-free version for $8 per month – less than what most streaming services charge. The basic Netflix plan costs $9 per month, while Showtime comes at $11 per month. HBO Max is expected to cost a whopping $15 per month.
- Launch date: The Quibi streaming service will go live on April 6, 2020.
- Free trial: Viewers will get a two-week free trial of the service once it launches.
- Content format: The shows on Quibi will be in short, bite-sized formats that people can easily consume on the go. Each episode of a series will last for anywhere between seven to 10 minutes. This makes them super easy to watch over lunch breaks or while on the way to work or school.
- Creator partnerships: Quibi has already signed some of the biggest names in the industry, including Anna Kendrick, Catherine Hardwicke, Laurence Fishburne, Steven Soderbergh, and Steven Spielberg.
- Content ownership: Quibi has announced it will hold exclusive rights its content for seven years. But creators will have the freedom to compile the segments into full-length shows and will fully own the rights to the longer editions after two years.
Quibi Streaming Service Device Compatibility
Although Quibi hasn’t released any official statement about device compatibility, founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has stressed the service’s mobile-focused approach. So we’ll likely get it only on mobile, and this is where the service may fall behind other streaming providers.
People love the versatility that most streaming services provide with the ability to watch on computers, smartphones, tablets and TV screens. With Quibi not offering the same kind of viewing flexibility, it might put off prospective subscribers from investing in the service.
Those who want to watch Quibi content on a big screen might be able to cast it from their phone to a smart TV. But since the content is built for mobile devices, there’s a good chance you’ll get suboptimal video quality on a larger screen. There hasn’t been an announcement about whether Quibi will release a version optimized for larger screens.
As the content format differentiates Quibi from the competition, so will the exclusivity of the service’s content. Since Quibi will only feature short-form videos, it’ll need content specifically created for the platform. This means you won’t be getting Quibi content anywhere else (at least for two years after the show’s release). Quibi will sort its shows into three different sections – “Daily Essentials,” “Lighthouse,” and “Quick Bites.” Here’s what to expect from each section.
The Quibi streaming service will provide viewers with news-focused programming called “Daily Essentials.” This section will offer freshly-curated news content from across culture, entertainment, gaming, and sports. The line-up of daily shows will consist of programming from E! Entertainment, ESPN, NBC, Polygon, Rotten Tomatoes, Telemundo, TMZ, and The Weather Channel.
Quibi has also teamed up with Complex Networks, Den of Thieves, and Gunpowder & Sky to bring a hip-hop news show called “The Drop” to the “Daily Essentials programming.” Plus, viewers will even get access to bite-sized episodes of CBS News’ “60-Minutes,” daily international shows from BBC, and some NBC programming.
“Lighthouse” productions, consisting of content from the biggest names in Hollywood, gives Quibi a unique selling point to draw in viewers. For this top-tier programming, A-listers like Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro will produce original movies broken up into multiple chapters. Viewers will get access to a new chapter every week.
Since these episodes won’t be available anywhere else for two years, they offer Quibi with the perfect arsenal to keep viewers coming back for more. The streaming service will also set unusual rules for some of its shows. For instance, viewers will have access to the “Spielberg’s After Dark” program only after midnight. The app will display a clock that ticks down until the sun sets in the user’s location.
This unusual approach could make things exciting if executed smoothly, or it could completely turn away viewers from the platform. But for a Spielberg program, our guess leans towards the first outcome.
The Quibi content lineup will also include shows like “Dummy,” starring Anna Kendrick, an updated spin on “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” and a live-action adaptation of Junji Ito’s “Tomie.”
The Quibi streaming service will also provide viewers non-serialized programming or “Quick Bites.” These mid-tier options will include a diverse mixture of contest shows, documentaries, and reality TV, featuring big names like Andy Samberg, Chrissy Teigen, Justin Bieber, Tyra Banks, and Zac Efron.
Viewers will have access to shows like “Elba vs. Block,” a stunt driving series starring Idris Elba. The “Quick Bites” line-up will also include “Thanks a Million,” where celebrities like Kristen Bell and Jennifer Lopez donate $100,000 to someone influential in their life.
The Bottom Line
Quibi promises a vast library of original and exclusive content when it launches this April. With its unique approach and exclusivity, it could easily become a major streaming contender, especially since it’ll only cost $5 per month.
That said, the mobile-focused approach poses a major problem for those who like streaming on a bigger screen. But if mobile-only viewing is a dealbreaker, you can always cast what’s on your phone onto a TV.