T-Mobile customers have more freebies coming their way. The Un-carrier has partnered up with Quibi, an emerging short-form mobile video streaming service, to bundle their service with its plans at no additional cost. T-Mobile already offers free Netflix with its Magenta and Magenta Plus unlimited plans.
Quibi will make its commercial debut on April 6 with two tiers of service on offer. The ad-supported plan has a price tag of $4.99 per month, while the ad-free service will cost $7.99 a month. It's unclear which of these service tiers will be included with T-Mobile's subscription plans. The former seems more likely, though.
Outgoing T-Mobile COO, and soon-to-be-CEO, Mike Sievert did not share any further details on this impending offer. It remains to be seen whether Quibi will be bundled with every cellular plan, or only select ones get it. In all likelihood, this deal will be similar to the agreement Walt Disney made with Verizon when Disney+ launched last November. Verizon customers get Disney+ free for a year.
Quibi promises to bring something different
There's no dearth of video streaming services in the market currently. However, while the likes of Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV+ are battling for supremacy in the TV video streaming sector, Quibi seeks to distinguish itself in this crowd by bringing something different to the table. This ambitious startup wants to revolutionize the smartphone content viewing experience by focusing on short-form videos.
Quibi, which stands for "quick bites," will stream short episodes of programming that will run less than ten minutes. From movies to news, everything will be broken into short clips. The ads will be short too. For episodes under five minutes in length, ads will be displayed for about 6-10 seconds.
Longer episodes will see ads running up to 15 seconds long. Quibi has signed on ten advertising partners for launch: Discover, General Mills, T-Mobile, Taco Bell, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, ABInBev, Walmart, Progressive, and Google.
Quibi will launch 175 shows with 8,500 total short episodes in its first year. It further plans to roll out up to three hours of fresh content every weekday. A slew of celebrities, including Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Zac Efron, Idris Elba, Kristen Bell, Kendall Jenner, 50 Cent, Jennifer Lopez, Kiefer Sutherland, and Chrissy Teigen have already signed up to produce content for Quibi.
Directors like Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War directors) also have original Quibi series in the works. BBC, NBC News, and 60 Minutes will produce daily news shows for the service.
Quibi has raised more than $1 billion in funding for the service from the likes of Walt Disney, Entertainment One, 21st Century Fox, NBC Universal, Warner Media, Lionsgate, MGM, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom, and ITV. It plans to raise another $500 million.
Google Cloud on the back end
Quibi is also partnering with Google Cloud on the back end for streaming technology. Tariq Shaukat, President, Industry Products and Solutions, Google Cloud, said that Google's Pixel team will also work to optimize the mobile viewing experience.
Quibi is introducing a "Turnstyle" feature which will allow users to seamlessly switch between portrait and landscape modes while watching content in a mobile device.
Clear enough, Quibi has its target audience set: people on the go. Whether anyone wants to watch shows in minutes-long increments, let alone pay $5 a month to access it with ads, only time will tell.