There are already a lot of video streaming services out there, and 2020 is going to see a few more pop up as well. The big names include HBO Max, which is set to launch in the near future. And NBCUniversal is launching its Peacock streaming service soon, too. There will probably be even more new options seeing the light of day throughout the year, but these two hold a lot of attention in the early stages of the year.
And then there's the service called "Quibi". A service that is trying very hard to get people to use its namesake as a measurement of time. You have ten minutes to kill? Well then, Quibi wants to be the app you open to catch up on a TV show.
That's the whole premise here. "Movie-quality" shows that are designed to be watched on your phone that measure in at 10 minutes in length. That might feel like it's not a lot of time, and, well, you'd be right. That's not a lot of time. So it will be interesting to see how these episodes of TV stack up once the service launches in early April.
The kicker here is that you really are watching movies sliced up into much smaller morsels from the whole. You'll get "premium films" shot by award-winning directors like Steven Spielberg and then you'll watch ten minute "episodes" of those films. It's meant to be episodic chapters, but we'll have to wait and see if that's actually a worthwhile to watch anything.
It's hard to ignore the fact that Quibi has a lot of high-profile creatives bringing content to the platform, though. We've got Sophie Turner of Game of Thrones fame bring a show called Survive to the service, for instance. You've got Boyd Holbrook (Logan) and Kiefer Sutherland (24) starring in The Fugitive. There will be more than 50 original shows on Quibi -- a pretty impressive number, all things considered. And you've got the aforementioned Spielberg on board, along with Idris Elba, Jennifer Lopez, Liam Hemsworth, and many others.
Just for fun, let's compare that to Apple TV+, another service built around the idea of original content. That service launched late last year with just a handful of TV shows ready to go right out of the gate. And even now, months later, the library has started to fill out but it's certainly not anywhere near 50 original TV shows just yet.
(Though, based on the trailers I've seen for some of these Quibi shows/movies, production value is certainly not lacking by any means.)
Still, the production values of Quibi-exclusive shows might be far less than what Apple brought to the table with shows like See and For All Mankind, so it might not be a fair comparison. In truth, Quibi launching so many shows, and with so much talent bringing content to the service, it's hard not to be a little excited.
And then there's actually watching stuff on your phone. Quibi is designed to watch those 10 minute episodes no matter how you hold your phone: portrait or landscape, the content will match. It's an interesting idea, but for someone like me (call me old-fashioned, that's fine) who prefers watching anything (but especially TV and movies) in landscape, the portrait mode seems a little strange.
You'll get 90 days to try out the service if you sign up at launch, which is definitely plenty of time to try it out and find out if the content, and viewing experience, is made for you. And that's what I'm curious about: do you plan on signing up for Quibi to try it out? Let me know!