Telecom News

Quibi in Switzerland: Questions and Answers

April 16, 2020 - Ralf Beyeler

Quibi, the US streaming service targeting smartphone users, is now available in Switzerland. Telecom expert Ralf Beyeler from independent online comparison service moneyland.ch answers the most important questions in this review.

Update October 2020: Quibi will be discontinued in December 2020.

A high 85% of adults in Switzerland use at least one streaming service, as the 2020 moneyland.ch Swiss streaming survey shows. Now, streaming service Quibi is joining fellow US streaming services YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in competing for a share of Swiss video streamers’ attention. Quibi is available to Swiss consumers as from April 6, 2020.

Telecom expert Ralf Beyeler from moneyland.ch answers the most important questions about Quibi here.

Who is Quibi for?

With its short videos designed specifically for smartphone users, Quibi primarily targets a younger audience.

Where did Quibi get its name?

Quibi is an abbreviated form of quick bites – a name which sums up its concept of providing short put high-quality shows and multi-part films for entertainment to go.

Who is behind Quibi?

Quibi was founded in 2018 by movie producers Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman (the former CEO of Hewlett Packard). Since its founding, Quibi has attracted over 1 billion US dollars of funding. Its investors include The Walt Disney Company, the Alibaba Group and Sony Pictures.

What sets Quibi apart from other streaming services?

These are the primary differentiators between Quibi and its competitors:

  1. Quibi is only accessible via app and requires an iPhone, iPad or Android-powered device. Quibi’s exclusive focus on mobile users is a prime differentiator.
  2. All shows and movie episodes on Quibi are limited to a maximum length of 10 minutes.
  3. All videos on Quibi can be viewed in the conventional vertical format or in full-screen horizontal format. The Turnstyle video technology automatically adjusts the picture to fit your screen when you switch between vertical and horizontal viewing.
  4. Quibi videos – including shows, feature films and documentaries – are all original content produced exclusively for Quibi.

Which languages are offered?

All content on Quibi is only available in English. No original German-language or French-language content is offered, and shows are not dubbed into Swiss languages. Some content comes with Spanish subtitles.

How much does Quibi cost?

A Quibi subscription costs 8 francs per month in Switzerland. Considering the (currently) small amount of video content available and its young target audience, that price tag is relatively high.

A special promotion running until April 30, 2020 lets users enjoy a 90-day free trial. That is a generous free trial compared to those offered by other streaming services (between 7 and 30 days).

Why are Quibi videos so short?

Quibi is based on the concept that our attention spans are getting progressively shorter. Many people no longer have the time or focus to watch long movies. The short format also targets consumers who enjoy watching videos during short breaks or while commuting.

Which devices are Quibi-compatible?

Currently, the Quibi app is only available for the iPhone, iPad and devices running the Android operating system. Other streaming services are also accessible via web browsers, set-top boxes (like Apple TV, Android TV, Swisscom TV, Sunrise TV or UPC TV), gaming consoles (like PlayStation or Xbox) and directly on television sets.

Quibi also offers a download option.

Can I share my Quibi account with friends?

Sharing a Quibi subscription with friends may be technically doable. But because Quibi is app-based, it is no possible to stream Quibi with the same subscription on more than one device at the same time.

Can I create profiles on Quibi?

No. Unlike Netflix, Quibi does not let you create user profiles.

What videos are available on Quibi?

Quibi focuses entirely on quality original content. A major benefit of this approach is that all content is available to all Quibi users, regardless of where they live. With many streaming services, available content varies depending on your place of residence. For example, the Swiss Netflix service has a much more limited video library than that enjoyed by Netflix users in some other countries.

Quibi content includes comedy, thrillers, action, horror, crime, documentaries, dating and legal shows.

The horror series After Dark produced by Steven Spielberg is probably the most unique of these. The reason for this is that Quibi users can only watch After Dark episodes after the sun sets in their location.

Other popular Quibi videos include the Survive series starring Sophie Turner, and the shows Thanks a Million, Gayme Show and Run This City.

On the whole, there is not yet a whole lot of Quibi content, which begs the question as to whether the subscription is worth the price. Quibi plans to add more shows in the near future, which is likely the primary reason why Quibi comes with a 3-month free trial.

How many series are available on Quibi?

As of mid-April 2020, around 20 series are available. But Quibi aims to increase this to 175 series within the first year.

What actors, actresses and directors create Quibi content?

Quibi has been able to attract celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and talent like Sophie Turner, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, Liam Hemsworth, Laura Dern, Kevin Hart, Bill Murray, Laurence Fishburne and Idris Elba. Well-known directors who create content for Quibi include Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Antoine Fuqua.

Will Quibi succeed in Switzerland?

As a smartphone-based service, Quibi is different from many established streaming services. If this approach ends up being popular with consumers, conventional streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ will likely end up hopping on the band wagon and following Quibi’s lead.

Whether Quibi has what it takes to establish itself in the Swiss market depends almost entirely on whether its short-format shows appeal to Swiss consumers. Both the number and the quality of shows will likely have to upped significantly before the 96-franc-per-year price tag becomes attractive to young Swiss consumers. The fact that Quibi content is entirely limited to English-language content – much of which is US-centric – poses a further challenge to Quibi’s adoption by Swiss consumers.

More on this topic:
Swiss video streaming comparison

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Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at moneyland.ch and also covers other areas of personal finance.