We Downloaded Quibi, So You Don’t Have To
by Alexis Paige
As someone with a pretty — okay, very — short attention span, I thought Quibi was going to be my new go-to app. Finally caving in to their YouTube pre-roll ads, I was ready to be amazed and binge everything. Because, well, you can only watch “The Office” so many times. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be keeping Quibi downloaded past my 90-day free trial.
Let me explain further…
I didn’t know it was possible to get bored by short-form content, but yet, here I am, bored (in the house and I’m in the house bored.) Every video is under 10 minutes with high production value, big name actors and directors, and beautiful cinematography. But, they just don’t keep my undivided attention for that long.
Quibi, which is short for “quick bites” hits us with some nostalgia with shows like “Punk’d” and stars like Nichole Richie and Zac Effron, while also bringing in some current celebs such as Liam Hemsworth and Chrissy Teigen.
Similar to Hulu, there are two tiers of subscriptions — paid with ads for $4.99/month and paid with no ads for $7.99/month. But unlike Hulu, you can only watch on your phone. No Chromecast, Airplay, nothing. As I’m typing this up, I’m attempting to prop up my phone so I can finish watching “I Promise,” a documentary showcasing Lebron James’ public elementary school in Ohio, and my phone is constantly slipping off my water bottle. So, my phone is about to fall any second now. Which to be honest, is quite annoying.
It’s totally understandable that short-form content could work on a mobile-only platform. Hypothetically, it could take longer to set up the casting than a full episode. However, if I have time (and attention span) to watch a show, YouTube video, IGTV, TikTok, no matter how short or long it is, I want to be fully engaged. Or, I’d like the option to have it as background noise. We all scroll on our phones while watching something on the TV, well with Quibi, that’s impossible.
Whoever is editing their videos deserve an award, or at least a beer, because it is seamless. My phone is always locked in portrait mode, meaning my screen doesn’t automatically rotate. So, I watched everything vertically which is a cool, new experience — watching content designed to be viewed vertically or horizontally.
However, the interface of the app itself is slightly cumbersome. Navigating through the app was clunky and I felt like they neglected to utilize gestures that most of us are familiar with. Such as swiping left to right to go back to the main menu.
As a constant consumer of content, I feel like Quibi has a cool concept, but it lacks…something. It is kinda like what TikTok creators would do if they had a big budget to blow. If that is a good thing or bad we’ll have to just wait and see.
Until my now 86 day free trial expires, I’ll be watching “Dummy” with Anna Kendrick, “Shape of Pasta,” and “Gone Mental with Lior.” Mainly while on the toilet because, well, where else am I just staring at my phone for a few minutes?