Since the beginning, Quibi has been adamant that its streaming video service is a mobile-first endeavor. However, after launching right as The Pandemic was gaining steam—which made the idea of watching short videos on a phone or tablet during your daily commute seem like quaint nostalgia from a before time—today Quibi has finally added the ability to watch its shows on a real TV.
In a tweet Tuesday evening, Quibi chief product officer Tom Conrad said the latest update to Quibi (version 1.3) now includes the ability to stream its shows to your TV using Apple AirPlay. That means anyone with an Apple TV can now watch Quibi shows on a big screen instead of being limited to mobile devices.
For those who don’t own an Apple TV, Conrad also mentioned that Quibi is working on adding Chromecast support, which should be available sometime in June.
In the first week after its launch in early April, thanks in part to limited-time offers that gave users free three-month subscriptions, Quibi racked up 1.7 million app downloads across the Apple App Store and Google Play store; the app added another million downloads in its second week. However, despite shows headlined by big names including Chrissy Teigen, Liam Hemsworth and others, Quibi has yet to make a lasting mark on the larger streaming ecosystem.
And now, with today’s launch of HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock slated for an official release on July 15, Quibi suddenly finds itself facing even more competition when it comes to vying for people’s attention. Some are even saying that Quibi’s weak engagement numbers show that the service may have already peaked.
The big question now is whether or not the ability to watch Quibi shows on a TV will give the service the boost it needs, or if streaming support via AirPlay and Chromecast simply arrived too late.