Much like T-Mobile’s “Netflix on Us” promotion, customers who want free access to shortform video streaming service Quibi will have to meet a specific requirement: they must have a multiple-line plan with the carrier.
Quibi will only be free in an exclusive offer “to subscribers who pay for two or more lines of postpaid service,” Protocol reports. The company doesn’t have any plans to share just yet, The Verge has learned. Quibi is also offering a 90-day free trial to people who sign up on the website before April 20th. The trial initially ran through April 6th, but has since been extended to April 20th. Quibi will also only be available on mobile devices, unlike streamers like Disney Plus, Netflix, and Hulu.
(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.)
The company first revealed its partnership with T-Mobile back in October. Prior to that, Disney announced that its Disney Plus streaming service would be free for Verizon customers for one year. The partnership has helped both Disney and Verizon, whose executives touted an increase in subscribers and customers respectively during calls with investors in the most recent earnings season. Quibi is hoping that its partnership with T-Mobile will help garner as many subscribers as possible when it launches.
Quibi, like many other streamers, has found itself in an unusual moment. As more people stay home to try to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, people are turning to streaming entertainment more frequently. This can be a net positive for new streamers launching over the next few months, including Quibi, HBO Max, and Peacock. Still, the longterm success of these streamers comes down to new content and keeping people engaged, according to analyst Matthew Ball.
Launching at a time when people are looking for more entertainment might be just what Quibi needs right now. More studios like Disney, Universal, Warner Bros., and Sony have started bringing films to VOD and streaming early in an attempt to earn revenue and boost subscriber numbers. Whether people want to spend time on their phones watching short snippets of series instead of using the app on the go, which is how founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman imagined people would use Quibi, is the looming question.
Quibi is set to launch on April 6th. There are two different tiers: a $4.99 plan with ads and a $7.99 plan without ads.
Update (March 20th, 4:30pm ET): The story has been updated to include new information about the free trial date.