Quibi’s mobile streaming service first launched in the U.S. on Monday, despite concerns, the coronavirus epidemic could affect its audience.
The company raised $ 1.8 billion (£ 1.47 billion) for the project to compete with Netflix and YouTube.
Quibi shows last 10 minutes or less and the movies are divided into segments.
He has deployed a large number of Hollywood and entertainment stars including Idris Elba, Sophie Turner, Steven Spielberg, Chrissy Teigen and Jennifer Lopez.
Viewers are meant to watch the shows on their mobile phones and a feature called a Turnstile allows the video to remain full screen both vertically and horizontally.
Some shows even encourage viewers to turn the device during the show to reveal a different angle from the scene.
On social media, the launch of Quibi has had mixed reviews.
Some of his highly promoted shows – such as Punk’d with Chance the Rapper and Survive with Sophie Turner – have received praise.
But looking alone on your smartphone – a key feature of the app – has been criticized. Users complained that they were unable to share what they were watching with roommates or partners.
The service costs $ 4.99 per month with advertising and $ 7.99 for ad-free viewing, although Quibi is giving away a 90-day free trial in the United States. The company said it had plans to gradually roll out its services to other countries, but the ad-free version app appeared to be available in the UK on Monday.
Quibi CEO Meg Whitman and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg have agreed to stay with the April 6 debut in the United States, despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and blockages could affect his target audience. Many analysts expected Quibi viewers to watch during commuting or during a break from work or school, but those activities are suspended for many during government blockades.
Quibi says that his target audience is between 18-44 years old that viewers are already comfortable with short storytelling and streaming on their smartphones.
by Zoe Thomas, BBC News Technology reporter
In several ways, they are exactly the audience that Quibi is looking for. I’m not what you would call a “binge observer”: I find it difficult to stay still during episodes multiple of 30 minutes. But I watch a lot of short videos on YouTube and social media during the day.
However, coronavirus blocking gave me a lot more time to stream TV and movies, so I needed a service with episodes of less than 10 minutes?
After several hours of reading Quibi’s content, I think the report is about something.
The shows are fun and the creators have clearly thought about how the audience would view the screen. The episodes did not last longer than 10 minutes and none of them felt cut or too short.
There are negatives: my arm is tired of picking up the phone all day, you can only share content with other Quibi subscribers and you cannot play it on the TV if you happen to be at home.
I started my vision of Quibi with the Survive show, with ex Game of Thrones actor Sophie Turner. The drama was promoted at the top of the app and given the current state of the world – why not start with a drama about a young woman fighting suicidal thoughts as she struggles to survive on a frozen mountain after a plane crash?
I was hooked up pretty quickly.
I also immediately started testing the Turnstile function which changes the perspective of images when the screen changes from vertical to horizontal.
To my great joy, the changes from portrait to landscape have been quite fluid. In Survive the image is always centered to keep you stuck in the excitement of the scene – and the scenes are very exciting.
As I continued to watch all day, I found myself using the Turnstile function in a more natural way.
If I got up to get water or stretch my legs I would take the phone, rotating it from horizontal to vertical instead of pausing the show.
Yes, I ran into some things and I can imagine in a world of commuters and crowded Quibi walkways it could be a danger.
Quibi poured money into his scripted and unscripted / reality programs. Judging by the comments on Twitter, I wasn’t the only one enjoying the Punk – a revival of the MTV joke show now starring Chance the Rapper.
Not only did I find the show funny, I really wanted to share it with my friends, but since none of them had registered in Quibi yet they couldn’t see the episodes.
For me this seemed like an inconvenience. If I saw something funny on YouTube or Tiktok, I could send it to friends, not Quibi.
Another feature that I liked a lot were the news episodes (surprise surprise).
Quibi has partnered with NBC, BBC, ESPN and others to create news packages tailored to the app. I found the ones I saw to be informative, the right length and engaging enough. But I can’t understand why none of these videos should be unique to Quibi. Filming them doesn’t make much difference, so I couldn’t understand why news agencies couldn’t just publish these videos on their own.
I started my trip to Quibi thinking that I don’t need anything else to make myself more anti-social these days. While hosting a Netflix viewing party can give me a way to interact with my friends in real time, the quality content on Quibi makes me think that when more people download it I will have a lot to discuss with them.