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New streaming service Quibi: Content, price, release date

Quibi is shaping up to be the perfect destination for users with a short attention span.

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With streaming services popping up left and right nowadays, it can be hard to keep up. At the same time, a new provider needs quite the gimmick to generate the kind of hype that ensures an epic launch. Which is exactly what Quibi seems to be banking on.

Set to hit the market this April (in the US at least), Quibi is positioning itself as a mobile-only streaming service specialising in original short-form content. In other words, it's not exactly the new Netflix – more like a fancier YouTube.

And yet, it has the potential to revolutionise the way in which we consume entertainment. Intrigued? Read on to find out more.

What is Quibi?

Quibi, short for "quick bites," is a new streaming service that was built with mobile devices in mind. Instead of offering licensed TV shows or movies, the platform invested heavily in original content, with 50 titles confirmed to be available at launch. The list features content from big-name stars and creators, including the likes of Sophie Turner, Chrissy Teigen, Reese Witherspoon, Idris Elba, Jennifer Lopez and more.

Content will be divided into 3 big categories, each available in "quick bites" that can be streamed in around 10 minutes. "Movies in Chapters (Lighthouses)" will offer longer stories divided in multiple instalments lasting 7-10 minutes each. "Unscripted and Docs" will focus on reality and documentary programming, while "Daily Essentials" will deliver shorter (5-6 minutes) topical segments on subjects revolving around news, pop culture, weather and sports. Episodes will be released one by one instead of all at once.

Confusing? Just a bit. What makes Quibi unique is that it offers content that can easily be streamed during downtime. Waiting for the bus? Enjoy a "quick bite". Stuck in traffic? Watch a short show. On your lunch break? Tune in for a slightly longer movie chapter. If you have a short attention span or only a few minutes to spare, Quibi seems like the perfect platform to help you fill that time with quality entertainment, without the need to pause a video and come back to it later. Content will be reportedly available to watch offline as well.

Another interesting Quibi feature is that it will incorporate supposedly revolutionary "Turnstyle" video-streaming technology meant to deliver portrait and landscape video at the same time. With everything on Quibi designed to be viewed on a mobile device, the video will instantly switch when you rotate the device. You'll get another point of view or a different angle, making for a more memorable viewing experience. This technology will apply to both content on the platform and ads.

When will Qubi launch in Australia?

Quibi will launch in the US on 6 April 2020. Unfortunately, no Australian launch date has been confirmed yet.

How much will Quibi cost?

In the US, Quibi will offer two price tiers: an ad-supported plan for US$4.99/month and an ad-free option for US$7.99/month.

Does Quibi have a free trial?

In the US, Quibi customers will receive a 90-day free trial if they sign up before the service launches.

What content will Quibi offer?

As mentioned, content on Quibi will be available in 3 categories, with 50 titles available at launch. Its most appealing titles will likely be its scripted ones, with four movies set to premiere this April:

  • Survive: A drama starring Sophie Turner and Corey Hawkins, who have to work together following a plane crash.
  • Most Dangerous Game: Starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz, it follows a man who enters a dangerous game as he struggles to provide for his pregnant wife.
  • Flipped: Revolves around a couple trying to become TV's hottest new house-flipping duo, starring Will Forte, Kaitlin Olson, Arturo Castro, Eva Longoria and Andy Garcia.
  • When the Streetlights Go On: Takes place in the aftermath of a young girl's murder and stars Chosen Jacobs, Sophie Thatcher, Mark Duplass, Tony Hale and Queen Latifah.

As for unscripted content, there are several series definitely worthy of attention. Thanks a Million, for instance, sees celebrities (including Jennifer Lopez, who is an executive producer) giving $100,000 to people who influenced them and asking them to pay it forward. Chrissy's Court features Twitter queen Chrissy Teigen presiding over a small-claims court. Reese Witherspoon narrates a documentary about the women of the animal kingdom called Fierce Queens. Chance the Rapper hosts a Punk'd remake. Idris Elba and world-renowned driver Ken Block go head-to-head in Elba vs Block. And then there's Murder House Flip, which features homes known for mysterious murders undergoing big renovations.

Finally, Daily Essentials will offer news and lifestyle series. Highlights include daily shows from brands like NBC, BBC, ESPN, E!, TMZ and more. The content line-up also lists two motivational/meditation segments: The Rachel Hollis Show and The Daily Chill.

You can check out the full list of titles on Variety. The service is only just getting started and has plans to produce 175 titles in the first year alone. Content to look forward to includes Spielberg's After Dark, a horror series from Steven Spielberg that will only be available to stream after the sun sets. Yes, you've read that right.

How to watch Quibi

Quibi will only be available on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). It's unclear whether the platform will eventually support streaming media devices to enable users to watch on the big screen.

With no official Australian launch date confirmed yet, we might have to wait a while for the service to arrive Down Under. Still, given that the content line-up consists entirely of original titles, we don't expect the wait to be too excruciating.

Image source: Quibi website

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