Quibi, a new streaming service from Jeffery Katzenberg, founder and CEO of Dreamworks, officially launched today. Unlike most streaming services that are meant to be watched on your television, Quibi is designed to be watched primarily on your mobile phone.
The service is currently only available in the United States and Canada, but the company has plans to launch it in other countries as well.
Editor’s Note: It appears Australians can currently sign up for the service as well, despite the lack of an official launch.
What can I watch?
Quibi launched with roughly 50 shows and movies, all of them new. Shows are roughly 10 minutes in length, so you can watch them on your lunch break or, someday, during your daily commute. Programming is also designed to be viewed in landscape and portrait mode, so you’ll be able to essentially see two different versions of the same show when you do watch. You can select the one that you prefer. You can also download shows to watch offline.
A number of celebrities are doing shows specifically for the platform. Joe Jonas, for instance, is doing a travel series called Cup of Joe and Anna Kendrick has a comedy on the platform called Dummy. You’ll also find the show Aqua Donkey from Funny or Die, a show by Cam Newton called Iron Sharpens Iron, and a show where Chrissy Teigan serves as a courtroom judge.
Some of the shows are scripted, while others are unscripted. We published a list of everything that’s launching today a few weeks ago, but again, since all of this is new, your best way to find out what’s great is to take a few of the shows out for a spin.
Beyond the shows, Quibi is also offering “movies in chapters.” For instance, the movie Most Dangerous Game is on the platform, starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz.
Here’s how Quibi describes it: “Desperate to take care of his pregnant wife before a terminal illness can take his life, Dodge Tynes (Liam Hemsworth) accepts an offer to participate in a deadly game where he’s the prey. This dystopian action-thriller explores the limits of how far someone would go to fight for their life and their family. Let the games begin.”
There’s also a documentary available today produced by LeBron James called I Promise. From Quibi: “I PROMISE tells the story of LeBron James’ efforts to close the achievement gap in his hometown of Akron, Ohio through the eyes of the inspiring students who are resetting expectations of their futures. The series will explore the day-to-day trials, triumphs, and life-changing impact of the school staff, students and families working together in a unique, family-first educational environment that embraces the trauma and challenges many face in Akron.”
New content is expected to roll out weekly.
How much does it cost?
Quibi will eventually cost $US4.99 ($8) a month with ads or $US7.99 ($13) a month without ads, but if you sign up for the service before the end of April you can get a 90-day free trial for free.
How do I watch?
Since the service is mobile-only, you’ll need to download the iOS or Android app in order to access the content. You’ll need to create an account in order to access any of the content and hand over payment details.
Accounts are designed to be used by one person, so you won’t be able to add multiple people to your account.
When you do sign up, you may want to also go ahead and set a calendar reminder for yourself to reconsider your subscription in 89 days. If you don’t cancel before that 90-day trial ends, then you’ll be automatically charged the subscription fee for the version you select (ad or ad-free) during the signup process.