QuibiSource: Quibi

What you need to know

  • Bite-sized video app Quibi is getting casting support for iOS this week.
  • The move is a U-turn on the developer's vision of a smartphone-only experience.
  • It looks like sharing across social media may also be in the pipeline.

Bite-sized video app Quibi is going to get support for casting shows to TV on iOS this week, according to the app's creator Jeffrey Katzenberg.

An interview with The New York Times highlighted the app's troubled beginnings but also pointed to some future improvements users can expect moving ahead. Notably, casting Quibi's shows to TV screens:

Many people who downloaded Quibi had a simple question: Why can't I watch it on TV? In response, Mr. Katzenberg and Ms. Whitman have backpedaled on their original commitment to a smartphone-only app. This week, Quibi subscribers who have iPhones will be able to watch movies-in-chapters like "Most Dangerous Game" and shows like "Chrissy's Court" on TV screens. (Android users will have to wait a few more weeks.)

Quibi is an entertainment/news outlet that offers content in 5-10 minute chunks. It's on-demand content for people who don't have time to binge Netflix, or for people who are on the move. The $1.8 billion venture boasts Chrissy Teigen, J-Lo, LeBron, and Steven Spielberg in its lineup. Unfortunately for Quibi, it was released at the outset of a pandemic which has forced millions and millions of people to stay in their homes for extended periods of time, not exactly an ideal target market.

Beyond this setback, Quibi was met with some criticism over major missing features. As mentioned, its 1.3 million active users wanted to cast these shows to their TVs, support for which is now on the way. Secondly, Quibi is also working on incorporating the sharing of its content to platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Reddit, a feature that was previously blocked. As The Verge, Quibi is working on making sure it is "less walled off from the internet".

Between the pandemic, and releasing a content consumption app that doesn't support casting or sharing, it's been a rocky start for Quibi. However, it looks like the team is working to quickly rectify initial oversights. iOS casting, (likely via AirPlay but unconfirmed) will launch this week, and Android will get the feature in a few weeks. There is no timeframe for Quibi's social media sharing changes.