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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

You Can Now Watch Short-Form Streaming Service Quibi for Free Down Under

It streams movies and shows in ten-minute portions — although, to view them without paying a cent, you'll have to sit through ads.
By Sarah Ward
August 10, 2020
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You Can Now Watch Short-Form Streaming Service Quibi for Free Down Under

It streams movies and shows in ten-minute portions — although, to view them without paying a cent, you'll have to sit through ads.
By Sarah Ward
August 10, 2020
  shares

When Quibi launched in Australia and New Zealand back in April, it added yet another streaming platform to the already lengthy list of services competing for your eyeballs. But this newcomer comes with a few twists — serving up its content in small chunks of up to ten minutes in length, for starters, and also designing it all for viewing on your phone.

Over the past few months, however, the platform has also undergone some changes. The big one: letting viewers stream Quibi's movies and TV shows from their phone to their television. While the service launched as a mobile-only app, forcing you to watch it on your device of choice, it added Airplay and Chromecast capabilities back in June — after realising that folks didn't just want to view things by themselves on a tiny phone screen, particularly when we're all spending more time at home during a pandemic.

Now, Quibi has announced another new change. With the app's original 90-day free trial period now over, it has added a completely free ongoing option for viewers in Australia and New Zealand. There is a catch, though, as you're probably already expecting: if you want to check out the platform without spending a cent, you will need to sit through ads.

Still, if you're keen to check out a new version of Punk'd hosted by Chance the Rapper, see Chrissy Teigen preside over small claims cases in the Judge Judy-style Chrissy's Court or get immersed in a Reese Witherspoon-narrated documentary series about females in natural history — or watch Anna Kendrick befriend a sex doll, follow the twists of horror-thriller The Stranger or work your way through a new version of The Fugitive — you can now do without troubling your wallet. Quibi's lineup includes everything from dramas and comedies to news and reality TV in bite-sized portions, with instalments maxing out at ten minutes but most running shorter (between five and eight minutes). Also on the bill: 'movies in chapters', which break films down into episodic segments to fit the platform's whole concept.

With an ultimate aim of hitting 175 different shows and 7000 episodes in its first year, other Quibi highlights include mockumentary Nikki Fre$h, which follows Nicole Richie's efforts to become a wellness-focused rapper; cooking competition show Dishmantled, where host and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess shoots food at two culinary industry figures, then forces them to try to recreate the dish in question; and Lena Waithe-hosted documentary series You Ain't Got These, about sneaker culture. There's also Flipped, starring Will Forte and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Kaitlin Olson as a down-on-their-luck couple desperate to host their own TV renovation series; Most Dangerous Game, the latest twist on the humans-hunting-humans idea, this time with Christoph Waltz and Liam Hemsworth; and Survive, which casts Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner as a suicidal patient suddenly forced to fight for her life after a plane crash. Or, you can watch luxury dog houses come to life in Barkitecture.

Boasting a name that's been shortened from 'quick bites', Quibi was created by ex-Disney chairman and DreamWorks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg, and is led by former eBay president and CEO Meg Whitman. Before it launched, it had been in the works since 2018 — and earned ample attention thanks to its huge stash of cash (reportedly raising $1.75 billion to spend on content), as well as its hefty array of stars and shows (including an upcoming remake of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days).

If you are planning to check it out on your phone, Quibi is designed to play in full-screen no matter whether your handset is vertical or horizontal — with the image automatically changing as you move your device around.

Don't like ads? If you're happy to pay, Quibi has also reduced the monthly price for its advertisement-free version from AU$12.99 to AU$6.99.

For further details about Quibi, visit the streaming platform's website. To download the Quibi app, head to the App Store or GooglePlay.

Top image: Barkitecture.

Published on August 10, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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