Quibi, the specialised streaming platform with short-form content as its USP, launched this Monday, 6th April, in a flurry of fanfare and a $400 million marketing blitz. For the unversed, Quibi, a name stylized from ‘quick bites’, is a new streaming service, which focuses on delivering content in short bursts – every episode of a show will be over in under ten minutes. Additionally, it is only available as an app on mobile devices.
Quibi is available on a free ninety-day trial, after which it will become chargeable at the rate of $5 with ads or $8 for an ad-free version per month for subscription, which is Rs 669 for Indian viewers.
We, at Binged.com, downloaded the app and checked it out for things like ease of use, quality of content and other features. And this is what we found .
The app is extremely easy to download. Within two minutes, to be precise, one has its diversified content displayed, to browse and choose from.
The first thing that catches the eye is the convenient user interface design of the app. It is designed in a way to facilitate easy browsing and easy discovery. There are numerous categories that show up on the home screen, making it extremely easy to flip through trending, comedy, unscripted, thriller and new shows.
The ‘Daily Essentials’ category offers segments in categories such as news, lifestyle, sports, and even the weather. Quibi has collaborated with well-known names such as Entertainment Weekly, Rotten Tomatoes, E News, and more, to create these. There are also trailers for upcoming OTT shows and theatrical movies from Fandango.
The content covers an astonishing selection of genres – there’s something for everyone. A nature docuseries by Reese Witherspoon, ‘Sexology’, by Shan Boodram under the mature category, a unique reality cooking competition called Dishmantled, hosted by Tituss Burgess, and lots more.
We checked out episodes of Flipped, Most Dangerous Game and Survive, and found them pretty decent to watch, though no match with Netflix in production quality.
The episodes of most of the shows are around 7 minutes long. A timer runs down the right side of the screen, intending to keep viewers aware of the amount of time that has passed.
The much-touted ‘Turnstyle’ innovation by Quibi (it’s facing a patent infringement case on it) is a good feature, though not brilliant. It allows viewers to seamlessly rotate between portrait and landscape mode, without the usual jerkiness and breaks when you normally rotate your mobile screen between images. All shows are created in a way to incorporate both modes, so you get a great viewing experience whether you watch with your mobile held vertically or horizontally.
With over 50 shows to choose from as of now, content on Quibi is not a problem. There are many more shows coming up on the service, most enticing of which is Steven Spielberg’s horror show, ‘After Dark’ (it is also only available to watch after dark).
The 90-day free trial offer has led to a strong start for the app. There were more than 700,000 downloads for the Quibi app for iPhones and Android phones in the U.S. on Monday, according to San Francisco app analytics firm App Annie. The figures for other countries wasn’t available immediately.
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