Jeffrey Katzenberg was right about one thing: A whole bunch of shit has gone down in the world since Quibi was first announced in October of 2018. Katzenberg blames the COVID-19 pandemic for the big fat bellyflop with which his and CEO Meg Whitman’s $1.8 billion dollar experiment has landed with viewers, but—although they won’t explicitly say so—they must know there’s more to it than a decrease in the amount of time people are standing around waiting for their table at a restaurant or whatever. Many viewers simply do not like watching TV on their phones—and when they do, it’s a compromise, not a preference.
Thus, Quibi is releasing an implicit “our bad” by following through on its promise to make its “quick bites” viewable on actual TVs, launching an AirPlay feature so iPhone users can cast Quibi shows onto a larger screen. (An Android version paired with Google’s Chromecast will follow sometime in June.) The company is still playing it off as a pandemic thing, as chief product officer Tom Conrad tweeted, “Sure we designed Quibi for on-the-go, but these days visiting the family room is like a day trip… so AirPlay support is live for iOS in Quibi 1.3.”
Whether it’s worth the effort to watch Quibi on an actual television remains an open question, as the A.V. Club staff’s responses to the service’s initial slate of programming were decidedly mixed. (To be fair, there’s always the Reno 911! revival.) But if you must Quibi, please do it responsibly—if only for David Lynch’s sake.