Quibi is finally almost here, and in an effort to entice people who are probably already spending too much on content every month, the short form video streaming service is giving people a 90-day free trial for a limited time.
The company is also planning to pump an impressive amount of content into the app within that time. Quibi is set to launch on April 6th with 50 shows and movies, half of which consists of “daily essential” programming that’s constantly being updated. More will be released throughout the first month and beyond. After the 90-day trial, Quibi will cost $4.99 with ads, and $7.99 without. That’s more expensive than Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus, both of which run ad-free.
(Disclosure: Vox Media, which owns The Verge, has a deal with Quibi to produce a Polygon Daily Essential, and there have been early talks about a Verge show.)
Quibi’s goal is to offer high-production, premium content to people who spend time on their phones flipping through apps like Instagram and TikTok. Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg doesn’t see Disney Plus or Netflix as competitors, but the free apps that gobble up people’s attention. He and CEO Meg Whitman are hoping they can convince people to spend time in Quibi instead.
Of those 50 launch titles, four are “movies in chapters,” referring to the way movies will be presented in the app — split into chunks between four and 10 minutes in length. The other 19 shows are unscripted series and originals, including Punk’d with Chance the Rapper, Murder House Flipped (a show about flipping homes where people have been murdered), and Chrissy Teigen’s Judge Judy-inspired court show.
That’s also just launch day. Quibi plans to release hours upon hours of content to keep people coming back every single day. Quibi has raised nearly $2 billion from investors, and has poured more than $1 billion into content development. A-list celebrities and Hollywood’s brightest have partnered with Quibi, alongside some of the biggest studios and networks like Disney, Warner Bros., and Sony Pictures. Still, Quibi has a big hurdle it has to overcome within its first few months: getting people to actually sign up.
The trial should help. Three months free is a pretty good offer. When Disney Plus launched, Disney gave customers a seven-day free trial. Verizon customers, however, received a full free year of Disney Plus. When Apple launched its streaming service, Apple TV Plus, it gave a free year to anyone who purchased a new or refurbished Apple hardware product. AT&T’s HBO Max will be a free upgrade for anyone with HBO or HBO Now, although the company hasn’t said anything about whether HBO Max will launch with a free trial.
To get the trial offer, people have to visit Quibi’s website and sign-up before April 6th.