This week, another streaming service went live. But Quibi is attempting to offer viewers something different.
What is Quibi?
Quibi was setup by Dreamworks founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, with former Hewlett Packard boss Meg Whitman appointed as CEO. The idea is that it offers short, sharp, bursts of content over mobile devices. The service is clearly aimed at busy commuters, with all episodes coming in at 10-minutes or under. However, don’t mistake low viewing time for low quality. The offerings on Quibi are highly-produced, tightly edited (obviously), and cover a broad range of genres. There are dramas, quiz shows, a daily newscast from NBC, and light-hearted comedies. There is even a documentary series from LeBron James. You can also watch the videos in either portrait or landscape and they remain perfectly framed. The changeover is instantaneous, with no interruption to what you are watching.
Is it worth it?
At the time of this writing, Quibi is only available in the U.S. Plans start at $4.99 a month, but there is currently an offer of 90 days for free. Given that nobody is commuting at the moment, this makes sense. Quibi needs sign-ups. There is no doubt that the service has some compelling content and it is operating at a decent price point. Despite this, I’m not sure I’d be inclined to add it to my list of regular streaming subscriptions. Maybe I’ll be proved wrong and Quibi will do for streaming what Twitter did for blogging, but in an age of binge-watching and box sets, I’m not sure its offering is substantive enough.