Last year we learned that T-Mobile was partnering with Quibi, a startup that will be launching a video streaming service. There wasn’t much known about the partnership at that time, but today we’ve gotten a little more info.
The Quibi service will officially launch on April 6th. There will be two tiers of service available: a $4.99 per month ad-supported option and a $7.99 per month ad-free tier.
Quibi is a name that means “quick bites”, and as such, all of the content on the service will be short. Movies will be broken up into chapters that run for up to 7-10 minutes, while daily news shows will be 5-6 minutes long. The ads will be short, too, running between 6-10 seconds on shows that are 5 minutes or less.
It’s expected that Quibi will launch 175 shows with 8,500 episodes in its first year. There’s an aggressive content rollout schedule in place, with the goal to release at least three hours of new content every weekday.
There will be content from Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, and Chrissy Teigen available on Quibi, as well as news shows from the likes of the BBC, NBC News, and 60 Minutes.
In addition to the focus on quick bites of content, Quibi will highlight a special feature called “Turnstyle”. This feature will let you rotate your phone between landscape and portrait mode to get different points of view. The Verge explains that every Quibi show and ad will be filmed in both portrait and landscape and that both versions will be sent to you while you’re watching a show. The version you’re not watching will be a reduced quality version that will automatically switch to full quality when you change orientation.
One show. One screen. Two perspectives.
Hold the phone horizontally = Cinematic perspective.
Hold the phone vertically = The character’s phone takes over your phone. #QuibiCES pic.twitter.com/mANwJJKsGU
— Quibi (@Quibi) January 8, 2020
Quibi has some big names and a signature feature, but we’ll have to wait until April 6th before we know what the content is like. The idea of short movie chapters and news briefings could be attractive to some folks, and the Turnstyle feature could be interesting if shows are able to use it in different ways. The good news is that T-Mo customers will be able to try Quibi without added financial commitment.
What do you think of Quibi based on what we know of it so far?