contador Saltar al contenido

Quibi, the anti-Netflix designed for smartphones arrives (also in Italy)

In these days of forced confinement at home a little more content does not hurt: ideal period for the Quibi's debut, a brand new TV series streaming service, directly competing with the various Netflix, Disney + and Amazon Prime Video. With one detail: it was designed to be used mainly (we could also say: only and only) from smartphone. It is not just a matter of interface – which is however well optimized and very fluid – but of content, which can be displayed perfectly in full screen both in landscape and in portrait, without annoying black bands and with the certainty of not losing fundamental details : what Quibi calls Turnstyle technology.


Basically, for each content the app sends two video streams simultaneously (plus a single audio stream, of course): one per orientation. What is not currently displayed is sent in lower resolution, to save bandwidth, but is always ready to offer an instant transition: as soon as you rotate the smartphone the quality of the two streams is exchanged. The price to pay is an increase in data consumption, which is about 20% higher than on platforms like Netflix or YouTube.

The interface is optimized for small screens, videos can be viewed without major problems even in portrait and each content never lasts more than 10 minutes. Quibi is the fusion of the two words Quick Bites, which we could roughly translate as a snack on the fly, which is quite indicative of the type of service the platform wants to offer.


Quibi starts quite domineeringly: 50 shows between series, films and documentaries (all strictly fragmented, as we said, in episodes of a few minutes each). Among these, it is worth mentioning Survive, a dramatic who talks about mental illness starring Sophie Turner, who played Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones; and Most Dangerous Game, with Cristoph Waltz and Liam Hemsworth. But the list of important names ready to collaborate is respectable: among others Jennifer Lopez, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Idris Elba and LeBron James.

Quibi does not come out of nowhere: it has been a project in progress for a few years and sees two big names from Hollywood and Silicon Valley at the helm: respectively President Jeffrey Katzenberg, longtime producer and co-founder of Dreamworks (with Steven Spielberg, coincidentally), and managing director Meg Whitman, who has previously led companies like eBay (in the golden age) and HP. Both, we can say, are innovative and capable of bringing to planetary success small realities on which many would not bet. That they succeed once again, of course, is still to be determined.


Quibi made its debut today and works immediately also in Italy. However, the contents are only in English; subtitles are present, but generally in English or Spanish. Are expected three month free trial (the idea to start was two weeks, then with the outbreak of the pandemic it was decided to take advantage of the opportunity), then two subscription levels can be chosen:

  • $ 4.99 with less than two minutes of advertisements per hour of content (for this subscription we don't have details about Italy, that's why we left the price in dollars. At the moment of the subscription it is possible to subscribe only to the more expensive one. It may not be foreseen for Italy, or it could be a forgetfulness. However let's imagine that the price will be ? 4.99, given how the other subscription was converted).
  • ? 8.99 completely without ads.

There is an option to download any episode you want, but even the most expensive subscription provides a single view at the same time, and no support for multiple profiles. The idea makes sense because, as we said, it is a service designed for smartphones, which are personal devices, but it makes the service rather expensive if you think about how competitors like Disney + are organized (up to 4 streams at ? 6.99 per month) or Netflix (the top subscription offers 4K and 4 streams simultaneously for ? 16 per month).


It remains to be seen whether the bet of a streaming service that does not include the possibility of viewing on large screens will prove to be a winner. In this particular period, perhaps not: since we are all at home, we always have access to a large screen, such as a TV or a computer. We will have to go back when life is back to normal. In the meantime, however, we have all the time we want to familiarize ourselves – and who knows, maybe find some worthy shows. We leave you the download links:

  • Quibi | Android | Google Play Store, Free
  • Quibi | iOS | Apple App Store, Free