Quibi phone-based streaming service may launch smart TV apps

Short-form video streaming service Quibi may expand beyond its mobile roots to launch smart TV apps, a new report claims. The service launched in early April with smartphone apps for iOS and Android, but soon found itself in an uncomfortable position: most people were in lockdown at home, meaning they weren't as inclined to watch videos only available on their mobile device.

It wasn't long after launch that Quibi suggested it may add a casting feature to its app, giving users a method to watch shows on their TV. A few weeks later, that support arrived first in the form of AirPlay for iOS users, then casting support for the Chromecast.

Still, many subscribers lack these devices and would have to purchase something new just to watch the videos on the hardware they already own. That may change soon, at least according to a report from Variety, which claims that Quibi is looking into launching proper smart TV apps that would greatly expand access to the service.

Sources claim that Quibi has been talking with Amazon and Roku about developing apps for Roku OS and Fire TV, two of the biggest streaming entertainment platforms in the US. In terms of Roku, the talks are said to be in the 'very early stages' and that it possibly won't result in a deal. With Amazon, the sources claim that talks have resumed, indicating that Quibi has pursued this subject in the past.

In its present form, Quibi is available on mobile devices, enabling subscribers to watch content in traditional landscape mode or in portrait mode. The videos are short, clocking in at under 10 minutes each, and cover various genres ranging from dramas to reality TV. Whether the service will ultimately be successful is still yet to be seen — the service is in its infancy. However, the release of smart TV apps may rake in new subscribers who otherwise aren't interested in mobile-only viewing.