In the early days of YouTube, there was a wave of short-form shows being written and produced by professional filmmakers on modest budgets, homegrown teams on crowd-sourced funds, and low budget DIYers. The thing they had in common was an embrace of the new online video format and an understanding of how to deliver content in short, concise episodes. This short-form entertainment ranged from personal vlogs to entire modernizations of classic literature in mini-episodes.
Now, a new streaming service promises to deliver entirely produced, big-budget entertainment with leading stars—and every episode runs 10 minutes or less. Welcome to Quibi, launching April 6.
The philosophy behind Quibi is that you only need a few minutes to be “entertained, informed, and inspired.” Quibi is slated to have more than 50 original short-form shows available on launch on April 6, featuring top names in TV, film, and entertainment.
Series on Quibi range from talk shows and comedies to action and thrillers, as well as full-length big-budget movies, cut into 10-minute chapters. The format of the service is specifically designed to be viewable on your phone. Quibi aims content at a busy life on the go (more on that later).
How to Get Quibi
You can sign up for Quibi on their website.
For anyone who pre-orders the Quibi app before launch day on April 6, the first 90 days are free. That’s one of the longest free-trial periods for a new service. But the app is an entirely new model, although Quibi isn’t particularly upfront about costs. Nowhere could we find on their launch website the actual subscription price.
Only after pre-ordering the app can you go into your app purchase and see that after the 90 days plans are $4.99 per month with some ads and $7.99 per month for an ad-free subscription. When signing up for the pre-order, you don’t have a choice between the two, but hopefully, both that and transparency of prices to new subscribers will update when everything is live on April 6.
Only On Mobile for Now
Explicitly designed for phones and mobile devices for viewing on the go, Quibi is accessible through a mobile app, available from the Apple store and Google Play. Many mobile devices can share screens with smart TVs, Apple TV, etc., but there is no information on if Quibi will develop apps for non-mobile devices down the line.
What’s on Quibi
In the current environment, with massive numbers of the population now stuck at home, either working or binging (or both), there is some question if a phone-based service focused on bite-sized entertainment might struggle with its launch. However, with the slate of programming and quality of the talent involved, there is a case for compelling viewing that might draw a following.
Among the big names with projects attached to Quibi are J. Lo, and Demi Lovato, Kiefer Sutherland, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, and more. While not all of those are among the 50 shows launching on April 6, the line up looks pretty good and includes talk shows, dramas, comedies, as well as several original “movies in chapters”: full-length big-budget films broken into 10-minute episodes.
One of the most exciting of these films is Survive, starring Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) and Corey Hawkins (BlacKkKlansman), based on the novel by Richard Abate, about the only two remaining survivors of a plane crashes on a remote snow-covered mountain. Another anticipated drama is When the Street Lights Go On, a teen murder mystery starring Queen Latifah as the lead detective.
There are many new shows to check out, with several trailers are available on the Quibi site show page. Among the new series are:
- A new version of The Fugitive with Kiefer Sutherland and Boyd Holbrook
- Chrissy’s Court, a small claims courtroom show with Chrissy Teigen
- NightGowns with Sasha Velour (RuPaul’s Drag Race), which follows the drag queen as she turns her titular drag show into a full-blown stage performance.
Also, nearly 30 of the shows launching on Quibi are news and pop culture programs from a wide variety of sources, including NBC, BBC, and CBS. With the massive unexpected shift in daily life that we are currently undergoing, who knows if bite-sized entertainment will still have
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