What is the streaming app Quibi? And can I watch it in South Africa?

quibi singled out

So while everyone was social distancing and going into quarantine, a new streaming service quietly dropped called Quibi, and it’s worth checking out.

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know much about Quibi when it was released in early April. There have been so many streaming services that have been coming out of the US and aren’t available to us that I didn’t pay much attention. But when I found out from a friend that is it available for South Africans, I immediately paid attention.

Quibi is a streaming service for your phone. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store. The main premise is that its content created to watch on your phone, the episodes are about 8-10 minutes. It doesn’t feel like a competitor to Netflix et al, more like a competitor to IGTV and TikTok, but like, made by professionals. 

You can only watch Quibi on the official app, on your phones, so you don’t have the option to watch it on a laptop or TV. It’s intimate, it’s fun, and I’ve found myself enjoying the little bites of it before bed at night. Some shows also release new episodes every day similar to web series. 

Right now, I’m obsessed with their unscripted shows. The shortened episodes are perfect for the medium. And I go through like 3 episodes a night and that’s just a half an hour. 

It’s content overload, with literally something for everyone. Quibi splits into Movies in Chapters (7-10 minutes), Daily Essentials (5 minutes news and lifestyle clips), and unscripted/documentary programming (5-10 minutes). Even though the episodes are short, every day I discover more series that I want to watch. So here’s a snippet of some the shows on offer:

  • Survive: Sophie Turner stars as Jane, who wakes up from a plane crash in the middle of nowhere with only one other survivor (played by Corey Hawkins).

  • When The Street Lights Go On – In the summer of 1995, Charlie (Chosen Jacobs) finds the bodies of his English teacher and a popular classmate and he goes on a journey to find the meaning of the mystery.

  • Flipped – This comedy follows aspiring HGTV host couple, Cricket and Jann (Kaitlin Olson and Will Forte) who get kidnapped by a drug cartel and are forced to renovate their mansions in order to gain their freedom. 

  • Gayme Time – A personal fave of mine, this game show hosted by Matt Rogers and Dave Mizzoni teams a straight man with a celeb in order to compete of the title of ‘Queen of the Straights.’

  • Nikki Fre$h – This show is equally hilarious and crazy. It’s basically about Nicole Ritchie who decides she wants to become a trap artist, but a different type of trap, Parent Trap for ‘plants, people, kids, bees, ladyboys, astronauts, and cowgirls.’

  • Dishmantled – For those who love cooking shows, this bite-sized one is hosted by Tituss Burgess. A meal is blown up in a tube and two chefs have to taste the deconstructed meal and try and recreate it. 

  • Chrissy’s Court – The queen of the Internet, Chrissy Teigen adjudicates disputes between real people and decides who is in the wrong. Chrissy’s husband (one, John Legend), her mum and kids all make appearances to add to the adorability of it. 

  • Singled Out – My current fave show is hosted by Keke Palmer and Joel Kim Booster. The dating show helps people of all genders and sexual preferences find love, and it’s fun AF. 

And honestly, there’s much more, Sasha Velour’s Nightgowns, Anna Kendrick befriending a sex doll in Dummy, Chance the Rapper hosting the new version of Punkd, and Liam Hemsworth running for his life on Most Dangerous Game. According to Entertainment Weekly, Quibi is planning to release 175 shows and 8500 pieces of content over the first year. 

So to answer the question, yes it is available to download in South Africa. And it is worth it to check out for the new content. The cost is $4.99 for an ad-supported subscription and $7.99 for an ad-free version. 

Let me leave you with classic: 

Check out what I’m watching on Showmax here


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8 tells the story of an unaccomplished William Ziel (Garth Breyetenbach) who returns to the farmhouse he inherited from his estranged father with his wife, Sarah (Inge Beckmann), and their adopted niece, Mary (Keita Luna). Soon after moving in, they meet a mysterious local outcast Lazarus (Tshamano Sebe), who carries with him a dark secret that will put everyone at risk. Lazarus persuades William to hire him in spite of Sarah’s reservations and successfully forges a kindred bond with Mary, who, like him, still aches for her lost kin. But among the locals, Lazarus is an unwelcome menace who carries a dark secret in his sack: a demon reincarnation of his deceased daughter with an insatiable appetite for human souls. In his pursuit to calm her nag, he facilitates several deaths and killings in the village, drawing the circle closer to the Ziels. .
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At Parkhurst College, a prestigious inner-city school for Cape Town’s elite scholars and academic overachievers, we’ll follow the exploits of the intelligent, proactive and impulsive 16- year-old Puleng Khumalo, as she engineers her transfer to the school to investigate the 17-year- old cold case of her abducted-at-birth older sister she’s never met.
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