Did you ditch Netflix for Quibi yet?

Quibi is out just in time for the ongoing lockdown. Quibi, short for “quick bites,” is a mobile-only short video streaming service, available for both Android and iOS platforms.

  • Quibi has now officially launched worldwide. I had no problems downloading it and tuning in here in the UAE, and had confirmation it’s working in Kuwait too. 
  • It is free for 90-days, if you sign up before April 30th.
  • After that trial, plans start at AED 29.99/month. 

Quibi’s unique proposition and app have positives:

  • The big thing is that Quibi’s content is mobile-first. You can only watch on an iOS or Android device.
  • There’s also responsive video, which adapts to your viewing angle in portrait or landscape mode, which Quibi calls its ‘Turnstyle’ technology.
  • In use, the responsive video technology adjusts without that hiccup you can see shifting orientation. It does add a slightly different perspective and titles and credits adjust as well.
  • Apparently Turnstyle will allow for more narrative elements as you switch positions but launch shows didn’t show that off. So it worked, but I didn’t need it.
  • Otherwise, elements like the clock on your phone and GPS location will change how some shows look or evolve. Again, none of that is here on day one.
  • Other neat tricks are the progress bar or a show running vertically down the right side of the screen as you watch in portrait mode (or left, for left-handers who choose that option).
  • It does offer offline downloads too for watching while on mobile data or patchy connections.

On the negative side:

  • There’s no profile setup yet, as Quibi is trying to be personal to each person.
  • That means if you share your login details, you might be frustrated as there’s only one single concurrent stream allowed.

But is the content any good?

  • That depends. That really depends. Less than 10-minute episodes make everything so abrupt and rapid. It’s both compelling and difficult to really enjoy.
  • On the good sideDishmantled isn’t bad if you want to watch crowd-sourced chefs try to recreate a meal shot at them from a cannon to win $5k. Yup. Episodes last about six minutes, hosted by Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess. 
  • It’s fun, light-weight, and that’s it. But I can imagine people watching this.
  • Other shows like Shape of Pasta take themselves very seriously but the episodes are almost too short to really create feeling. Apparently chef Evan Funke is famous, and that’s a big part of why I don’t get this at all. It’s too much.
  • Survive with Sophie Turner starts slow but kept me watching.
  • There’s I Promise, a LeBron James-focused documentary about his school in Akron which is like a LeBron commercial, but at least it is fundamentally good.
  • Punk’d is back with Chance the Rapper and maybe it shouldn’t be?

Star power not always firing:

  • Look, right now it seems like the whole thing is based heavily on celebrity and star power, and it’s trying to appeal to a younger audience by being so snappy and loaded with pop culture.
  • You’ll either get in because of this or find your unable to imagine why anyone would use it.
  • It sort of feels like what you might get if YouTube paid what Quibi invested ($1 billion!) in content, and stars, and every possible idea being greenlighted.
  • It both works and it doesn’t, and I find myself deciding within about 15 seconds if I want to watch something or not because of how lost cost it is to jump around. 
  • Quibi feels like it was made for commuters catching a show. As Moe Szyslak might say: ‘We called that “The Commute.” They don’t let you do that no more.’

Download it and share your thoughts!

Published by Moey

Inked. Pierced. Chubby. Bearded. Cinephile. Left-arm Palsy-fist.

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