WTF Is Quibi, The Smartphone-Only Streaming Service Which Dropped Very Sneakily This Month

Imagine Judge Judy, but hosted by Chrissy Teigen. Or Man vs. Wild, but hosted by Zac Efron.

Imagine no more, because these are some of the shows streaming on Quibi, the new streaming service which had an under-the-radar launch earlier this month.

Quibi – a portmanteau of “quick bites” – is a mobile-only streaming app that focuses exclusively on original content.

Because it’s designed for smartphones, shows are made to be viewed in both portrait and landscape modes. At around 5-10 minutes long, they’re also much shorter than shows on, say, Stan or Netflix.

Aside from Chrissy’s Court and Kill The Efrons (yes, those are the shows’ actual names), there’s also a reboot of Punk’d hosted by Chance The Rapper and a horror series directed by Steven Spielberg that can only be watched at night.

Migos’ Offset and Idris Elba both have their own car shows, and there’s even a BBC-produced series showing natural history from a female perspective called Fierce Queens.

Tituss Burgess (who plays Titus Andromedon in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) even has his own goddamn cooking show on the platform.

If people can spend hours scrolling through TikToks, surely binge-watching 10-minute episodes in portrait mode on Quibi isn’t as unbearable as it sounds.

For dramas, comedies and other scripted shows, the combined runtime of each bite-sized episode is set to go for around two hours.

Quibi is backed by a who’s who of entertainment giants, including Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, WarnerMedia, and ViacomCBS, which explains how it got so much exclusive content fresh out the gate.

In fact, the company said it plans to spend $1.1 billion in its first year to commission around 175 original shows.

However, it’s pretty damn strange just how stealthily the app dropped. Hardly anyone’s talking about it, which is weird at a time when everyone’s streaming their heart out.

The app is available on iOS and Android with a 90-day free trial. After that, a subscription in Australia is $12.99 a month.

As the world hunkers down for months of self-isolation, it simply could not have come at a better time.

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