After months of hype and press, Quibi, a smartphone app that’s promising to offer “bite-sized” video streaming and entertainment, has finally launched. The app first came to the attention of the media two years ago, mostly because of the pedigree of the people involved in its founding.
The app is the brainchild of Jeffery Katzenberg, the man who previously founded DreamWorks Animations. We also learned at the time that Quibi had tapped Meg Whitman, who previously worked as the top executive at large tech companies such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise and eBay, to lead it as its CEO.
But it was not just this star-studded lineup that caught the attention of the media. It also emerged that Quibi managed to raise up to $1.75 billion in capital, some of which came from A-list Hollywood names including revered producers Guillermo Del Toro, Steven Spielberg, Catharine Hardwicke, Lena Waithe, and others.
After two years of waiting, Quibi is finally launching and it comes at a very interesting time. As most nations go on lockdown in an effort to combat the COVID-19 virus, a lot of people are staying home and the demand for streaming services is quite high.
Quibi notes that it is launching with a total of 50 shows including Chrissy’s Court, a legal comedy where Chrissy Teigen presides over small claims court. Other shows include this dystopian thriller dubbed “Dangerous Game” starring Liam Harmsworth, a food and travel show called Shape of Pasta featuring Evan Funke, etc.
All the episodes of these shows are less than ten minutes in length. Users will also have the chance to view them either in landscape or portrait depending on their preferences. For a start, Quibi notes that its plan is to deliver a total of 25 episodes every day.
This will include a segment titled “Daily Essentials.” We don’t know what that will entail yet but it sounds very exciting. Quibi will also be keeping users up to date with the latest news and will also have talk shows like “The Replay” from ESPN and Last Night’s Late Night.
In essence, Quibi is hoping to be the first globally acclaimed mobile streaming service. The company is offering two payment plans, with the first one going for $4.99 a month but will include ads.
A premium ad-free option is also available and will cost users $7.99 a month. In case you are still not convinced, the company is going to offer a 90-day trial but the offer is only valid for customers that sign up before April ends.
It will be interesting to see how the app will take off. It’s no secret that Quibi has been building up a lot of media buzz for a long time. The company even aired some Superbowl Ads in an effort to set the grandest stage possible for its launch. So far, there’s clearly a lot of production value in the content we’ve seen on the platform.