Quibi is due to get an update next month that will make it possible to cast content from the smartphone app to a nearby TV.
The Quibi streaming service is a little different to the rest, as instead of being mobile-optimized, it arrived as a mobile-only product. Due to this, there is currently no option to watch shows and movies on anything but a smartphone, making it Quibi’s fundamental flaw.
However, Quibi’s foiunder, Jeffrey Katzenberg, recently told Reuters that the option to cast will arrive starting next month, though no exact date in May was provided. It is worth noting there might be a caveat to the new support, considering the report specifically says “some Quibi users will have the ability” and it remains to be seen what the distinction might be. Either way, it will be a welcomed move by users who currently find the device support too limiting.
In addition to the casting feature, Katzenberg also reportedly confirmed the app had been downloaded 2.7 million times since the service launched earlier in April.
A bite-sized step in the right direction
Any streaming service that does not cater to the TV in any way is going to find itself massively limiting its audience. While there is definitely a time and a place for consuming content on a smartphone, there’s equally a time and a place for consumption on the many other devices in the home, and especially on the one that’s used the most to watch shows and movies.
While a step in the right direction, it still remains to be seen if casting support will be enough to make Quibi a mainstay for most people, considering the ability to watch on a TV won’t fundamentally change the fact that content is still designed for a smartphone. For example, the service’s flagship feature is Turnstyle, which lets the user watch in either portrait or landscape mode. Although semi-useful for the phone, it’s not so much for the home TV.
Not to mention, those who make use of the ad-supported version will have to put up with a commercial showing every 5-9 minutes. That’s how long each segment of a movie or show lasts.