Radically different streaming launches
There's a new streaming service in town and it's radically different to what came before.
Quibi, backed by entertainment billionaire Jeffrey Katzenberg, hit the live button overnight and, rather unexpectedly, it's also available in Australia.
It comes with a 90-day free trial at the moment, and thereafter it'll cost $12.99 a month in Australia. In the US, there will be a cheaper ad-supported version and a costlier ad-free version but it's not yet clear if those options will be available locally. Quibi has been contacted for comment.
Quibi isn't like Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV+ or Disney+. What it's offering is what it's terming "snackable" content. Its name is even short-form for "quick bites".
Quibi only works on your mobile phone via a downloaded app, and its visuals are presented in vertical format not horizontal and no episode in its library of original content runs for more than 10 minutes. Some are as short as three minutes.
The idea is that you'll consume this content on the go while commuting or in line for coffee - but, at the moment, maybe standing in your kitchen as you wait for eggs to boil. It's the opposite of bingeing Netflix for hours and hours.
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There are big name stars attached too. Chrissy Teigan's Judge Judy-esque series Chrissy's Court is among the launch offerings, along with content from LeBron James, Bill Murray, Steven Spielberg, Will Forte, Demi Lovato, Ridley Scott, Lena Waithe, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Lopez, Reese Witherspoon and many more.
There is also news programming from the likes of the BBC, TMZ and The Weather Channel.
At launch, there are 50 shows across different genres including scripted, lifestyle, reality and news, each with three episodes to start, and a promise to release 25 episodes of fresh content each weekday.
Quibi is the brainchild of Dreamworks chief Katzenberg and former Hewlett Packard boss and one-time presidential candidate Meg Whitman.
If the concept behind Quibi sounds kind of familiar, 30 Rock fans may remember fictional villain Devon Banks (Will Arnett) pitched the idea of super-short mobile-only series - except in the show, it was treated as a ridiculous joke.
Thirteen years after that episode aired, technology and our relationship to it and how we consume content has changed so much that investors in Quibi have laid down a reported $US1.8 billion.
The best part about all that? Arnett even stars in one of Quibi's new shows.
QUIBI HIGHLIGHTS AT LAUNCH
Memory Hole: A look at pop culture phenomena remembered by only a few. The first season will focus on comedy in Canada, hosted by Will Arnett.
Most Dangerous Game: A scripted thriller centred on a predator and his prey, starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz.
Flipped: Comedy series with Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson about two house flippers hired by a drug cartel to renovate their abodes.
Chrissy's Court: A Judge Judy-type show presided over by Chrissy Teigan.
Spielberg's After Dark: A horror series that will only be available to watch after sunset.
Prodigy: Hosted by Megan Rapinoe, it will focus on the stories of young athletes.
Survive: Game of Thrones star Sophie Tuner plays a young woman trying to survive in the wilderness after her plane crashed.
Fierce Queens: A nature docuseries focused on females like cheetahs and ants, hosted by Reese Witherspoon.
When the Street Lights Go On: A murder investigation and coming-of-age story in one.
Punk'd: A revival of the Ashton Kutcher series, but now with Chance the Rapper as prankster-in-chief.
Will you sign up to Quibi? Let us know in the comments below.
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Originally published as Radically different streaming launches