Quibi is the newest streaming service to launch, and it has some interesting features and content, as well as a price that might knock your socks off.
This includes portrait mode features, and a price to match the mobile-only platform that is Quibi. It's new and while it might seem like a strange streaming service right now, it won't for long.
Here's everything you need to know about Quibi, and where you can sign up.
What is Quibi?
Quibi is a mobile-only video subscription service that launched on April 6 in the US and in Canada. Quibi is focusing on short-form content, as it looks to take away some of those users that consume short-form content from YouTube. Right now, YouTube gets around 2 billion users every month. And a lot of that is for short-form content, normally under 10 minutes.
So that is where Quibi is focusing. All of its content is less than ten minutes long. It has mostly TV shows, but there are also some movies available. Which are cut into chapters that are less than ten minutes in length. So you don't have to sit down and watch a whole hour-long movie all at once. Which is pretty neat.
Quibi is sort of going up against the major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, Apple TV+ and others, but not completely. Where Netflix does longer shows, Quibi's will be much shorter. And looking to fill a niche.
The service has already recruited a ton of stars to work on programming for the service. With the most popular one being Chrissy Teigen's new show 'Chrissy's Court'. There are other big names on board like Lebron James, Dwayne Johnson, Reese Witherspoon, Chance the Rapper, Kevin Hart, Jennifer Lopez and more. There are also some popular networks that are creating content for Quibi. Like 60 Minutes, the BBC and even the WWE.
What devices can I stream Quibi on?
One of the main features of Quibi, which also ties into its price, is the fact that it is currently mobile only. It works on anything that runs iOS or Android. So that also means tablets like the iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab S6. But as far as your TV or even your laptop, nope. Don't expect to stream Quibi shows on your laptop at work.
Quibi decided to go mobile-first, as that is where the majority of us are watching this short-form content. When we are at the gym, at the doctor's office, and so forth. So making it mobile-first was a really good idea. But the company's CEO, Meg Whitman has stated that Quibi won't be stubborn. And if subscribers demonstrate that they want more flexibility, the company is willing to open its device support for bigger screens. They would decide which platforms to do first, based on the data they get from subscribers who are using the service.
Does Quibi work on my TV?
Unfortunately, Quibi has decided to go mobile-first. It's a good idea for Quibi, but it is likely that it will decide to bring the app to TVs and other platforms in the near future though. Especially if people really like their content, and want to sign up for Quibi.
This is one of the features of Quibi that could come back to bite it, but given its price, it may not be an issue.
What shows are coming to Quibi?
Quibi has a ton of shows coming in the first year, over 175 shows to be exact.
One of the bigger shows that is being touted for Quibi's launch is 'Chrissy's Court', as well as 'Most Dangerous Game' from Liam Hensworth, and 'Survive' from Sophie Turner.
There's also 'Punk'd', 'One In A Million', 'Murder House Flip', 'The Sauce' and so much more. There will be 50 series available at launch, with more coming out every Monday. Episodes will drop every weekday for these shows, so you can catch up on what's happening on these shows each day.
Do I have to watch in portrait?
No, you do not have to watch Quibi's content in portrait mode.
What's interesting about Quibi though, is that it allows you to watch in either portrait mode or landscape and it fills the entire screen. Quibi has optimized portrait mode to show you the important part of the show, instead of cutting off characters and such. It's actually pretty cool what Quibi is able to do with this, and it's something we might see in the near future actually.
You can of course switch to landscape mode, which is what the majority of us are going to prefer. And if you have a newer device, that is taller than 16:9, you can zoom in to fill the screen. But it will only zoom to 18:9. The reason for this is likely so that it is not cutting off a ton of content, and most devices are between 18:9 and 19:9 these days. So it's a good happy-medium for Quibi.
The way this works is that the shows were shot and then cropped in the editing room. Though some shows are doing some interesting turnstyle magic when you watch in portrait mode. Some shows, like Nest (which is a thriller series) will show the story when you watch in landscape. But in Portrait mode, it will allow you to see what's happening on the character's device while the story is playing out. Basically, the character is watching the camera feed of her smart doorbell through her phone, you can choose to watch the actress reacting to the footage as she sits on the couch, or you can watch what she's doing on her phone in real time. It's an interesting way to do all of this with portrait and landscape modes, to be honest.
Most of us will likely stick to watching in landscape mode, and that's because it is the most natural way to watch shows and movies. Even though it is more natural to hold your phone in portrait mode.
What is the episode release schedule like?
Quibi is keeping it simple, it will release new episodes every weekday until that series is complete. There will be some ongoing daily shows that will have episodes drop on the weekends as well.
Whitman also stated that if subscribers demonstrate an appetite to binge, Quibi wouldn't be opposed to dropping an entire season at once. Like what Netflix does.
Quibi is going to be releasing more than three hours of new programming everyday. And considering the majority of its content are under 10 minutes (some are significantly under), that's quite a bit of content. Quibi has also said that at launch, its first three episodes of its Movies in Chapters, and Unscripted/Docs series will be available for mini-binges.
New series will debut on Quibi every Monday. And in the first year, Quibi will have over 175 original shows, which total around 8,500 episodes.
So the skinny of it is, new episodes every day. But not once a week like CBS All Access and SHOWTIME do. So it's in between what Netflix and other streaming services do with its original series.
Can I download episodes to watch offline?
Yes, you can download episodes to watch offline. And this feature is available from day one. Now that is a very big deal. Normally this feature comes out weeks or months after the launch of a new streaming service. Disney+ is a good example of this, launching this and other features much later, and its price was more than Quibi. So good on Quibi to do this now.
This means that you can download some content to watch while you're on a plane, on the subway headed to work and so forth. Basically, when you know you aren't going to have access to the Internet.
How much is Quibi?
Quibi offers a 90-day free trial. Which is a pretty lengthy trial and not something we normally see with streaming services.
After the trial, it'll be $4.99 per month for the ad-supported tier and $9.99 per month for the ad-free tier.
Given the features that Quibi has included here, this price is not bad at all. And the fact that there are new episodes coming every single day make it even better.
Keep in mind that if you are on T-Mobile, you could be getting Quibi for free. Quibi has struck a deal with T-Mobile. Where T-Mobile customers with two or more lines on its Magenta plan, can get Quibi for free. T-Mobile will be giving its customers the ad-supported tier for free, that's a $4.99 value, and in addition to the Netflix On Us promotion that T-Mobile has been doing for a few years now.
Which means that if you are a T-Mobile customer, you might as well check out Quibi anyways, since it's free.
How do I sign up for Quibi?
There's only one way to sign up for Quibi. You'll need to download the app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
Once you have downloaded the app, you can create an account and then start your free trial. Quibi will automatically charge you for the monthly subscription after the 90 days are up, through the Google Play Store. This is a good thing, as it makes it easier for you to cancel before the free trial is over with. As you can manage it within the Play Store – as well as your other subscriptions.