What's a Quibi? It might be the streaming service you're looking for

By Jeff Ayers — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

Quibi is a phone-only streaming service with more than 7,000 TV episodes

If you are anything like me, whether I'm quarantined at-home or not I'm always looking for new things to watch. Coming out of the haze of endless scrolling through Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney+ is new streaming service, Quibi. But there is a catch — it is only for your phone. 

Now right off the bat, you are probably screaming at this blog "Why would I want to watch shows on my phone?" and to that end, I'm with you. I thought the same thing, so I downloaded the app to see what it is all about.


Quibi is an app-based streaming service that can be downloaded on your phone from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. It is designed to give you 'bite-sized' content, both scripted and unscripted TV shows, at 5 to 7 minutes an episode. Think of a 2-hour movie broken up into 15 chapters. It's an interesting premise, considering that many of us consume short-form videos on our phone already on free platforms like YouTube and Vevo.

After downloading it, I signed up for the free 90-day trial (It's $4.99 a month after that). The main screen is "trending' shows, which is funny because Quibi had only been out for a day. But I watched some things that already sparked my interest. MTV brought back Punk'd, this time with Chance the Rapper. After watching an episode of that, I found a drama called Survive starring Sansa Stark herself, Sophie Turner, and I was impressed with the cinematography for a show made for a phone. Another that stood out to me was Flipped — starring Will Forte (Last Man on Earth) and Kaitlin Olson (Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as two misfits that get hilariously mixed up renovating mobsters mansions. Oh yeah, and Reno 911! is coming back with new episodes and the entire returning cast.

The variety of shows will be a constant evolution, with 7,000 individual episodes available right now upon launch. Comedy, drama, reality shows, documentaries, news: everything has a place here, just in short little pieces. Big names both in front and behind the camera are already getting involved, with many more to come.

There is even talk of interactive programmings, like the recent hit show  Bandersnatch on Netflix. Quibi also has news clips, cooking shows, the latest clips from late-night programming, and more.

Plus, you can watch everything either in landscape mode or vertical. Which is a little weird considering a lot of the content works very well in both formats. In fact, I watched the entire first episode of Punk'd vertical, and then realized it actually gives you a wider scene if you tilt your phone to landscape. So I watched the first episode of Survive both ways, and I didn't feel like I missed anything either time.

Is this the future of television? Probably not. But if you are bored at home and have reached the end of your Netflix watchlist, I recommend downloading the app and giving the free trial a shot. There are some really interesting shows and I wonder what Quibi can do once it really gets going. Also, I cant wait for Reno 911!

Related: Phone apps that make social distancing a little easier


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