New mobile app Quibi provides short, high-quality shows


Provided by Quibi

Quibi, a new mobile video platform that launched April 6, is centered on short, bite-sized original shows that are each less than 10 minutes long.

Grace Holleb, Reporter

The mobile-only video app Quibi, launched April 6, is centered on short, bite-sized original shows that are each less than 10 minutes long. 

With the motto “Quick bites. Big Stories,” the app is designed to give viewers movie-quality shows in a short amount of time. The programs available fall under three main categories: documentaries, movies and reality shows. Additional videos include sports reports and brief news stories. 

A few examples of Quibi shows are “I Promise,” which features an intimate inside look at the first year of Lebron James’ school serving the students of his hometown in Akron, Ohio. “The Report” by NBC, provides viewers with relevant headlines from around the world.

Junior Charlie Brennan has used the app for two days.

“So far I’ve liked the show called ‘When The Street Lights Go On,’ but there’s no way I could see myself going on Quibi for a family movie night or something like that,” He said. 

He thinks Quibi will thrive during this social distancing period, but he doesn’t see a big future for it. 

“It’s like how TikTok has taken over,” he said. “Our attention spans are so short, and Quibi is kind of taking that idea of fast streaming.” 

The app is free for the first 90 days, but after that it is $4.99 a month with ads and $7.99 without. 

“I think it’s a cool concept, but personally don’t really see it being worth $5 a month, when Netflix is only twice that price and has so much more to offer,” senior Charlie Mueller said.

When flipping from landscape to portrait mode, instead of becoming smaller in one orientation, the screen is completely filled. Quibi calls this trick “Turnstyle” and markets it as a unique feature to this platform.

Two key people behind Quibi are Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, both of whom have led some of the nation’s top companies for decades. Katzenberg, Quibi founder, is the former chairman of Walt Disney Studios and co-founder of DreamWorks. Whitman, Quibi CEO, is one of the country’s most well-known female executives and has served as the president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and eBay. Some have concerns that for Katzenberg, 69 and Whitman, 63, it is challenging to create a product geared towards Generation Z, but both founders are striving to reach their audiences with quality shows. 

When pitching the idea to design Quibi, Katzenberg and Whitman described it as a quick escape from an Uber ride or waiting in line for coffee, according to The Verge on April 6.

What makes Quibi different from competitors like YouTube is its production values. Quibi films cost up to $100,000 per minute, according to the New York Times on April 5.