Apr 7, 2020

Short-form streaming app Quibi launches to rival Netflix

The mobile-first streaming service Quibi launched in the US on Monday, despite concerns the coronavirus outbreak might impact its viewership. The service costs $4.99 a month with adverts and $7.99 for ad-free viewing, although Quibi is giving away a 90-day free trial in the US. The company had said it planned to roll out its services to other countries gradually, but on Monday the ad-free version app appeared to be available in the UK. Quibi's chief executive Meg Whitman and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg decided to stick with the 6 April debut in the US despite concerns the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns could impact its target audience. Quibi says its target audience is between 18-44 years old viewers already comfortable with short-form storytelling and streaming on their smartphones. Quibi has teamed up with NBC, BBC, ESPN and others to make bespoke news packages for the app. While hosting a Netflix viewing party may give me a way to interact with my friends in real time, the quality content on Quibi leaves me thinking that when more people download it I'll have plenty to discuss with them.

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