Bite-sized video subscription service Quibi racks up 300,000 downloads on day 1

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Quibi
Move over Netflix? Here comes Quibi!
Photo: Quibi

Original streaming video platform Quibi racked up 300,000 downloads on day one, claims a report from leading app analytics platform Sensor Tower.

In a market overloaded with subscription streaming services, Quibi’s twist on the formula is to offer snack-sized shows running 10 minutes or less. These are designed to be watched primarily on mobile.

Quibi has been heavily promoted, with some serious marketing muscle behind it. This has included running a Super Bowl ad. It was also featured prominently on the App Store.

The service was founded by Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, and features top tier talent including Chrissy Teigen, Chance the Rapper, Tyra Banks, and others. Perhaps the most intriguing-sounding show is Spielberg’s After Dark, a horror series written and created by Steven Spielberg. This show is unique for Quibi because it can only be watched at night.

While Quibi is launching with around a dozen shows, it aims to have 175 titles by the end of the year. Quibi will add new episodes daily. It charges $5 per month, making it the same price as Apple TV+, and not too far away from the likes of Netflix and Disney+. Those who are interested can sample Quibi for free for 90 days.

How do Quibi’s launch day numbers stack up?

Sensor Tower notes that Quibi’s launch day numbers were inflated by a lengthy pre-order period. Since those downloads only count the day that, well, the app is downloaded, this essentially front-loads the launch day figures. Nonetheless, it’s an impressive number of downloads to get on day one.

Perhaps as expected, however, they are just a fraction of the downloads Disney racked up for its Disney+ streaming service. Sensor Tower notes that Quibi received approximately 7.5% of the approximately 4 million installs garnered by Disney+ in the U.S. and Canada on launch day in November 2019. It’s also fewer than the 45,000 installs seen by HBO Now when it debuted in April 2015.

Ultimately, day one installs are just about bragging rights, though. The true test for Quibi and the others is how many people stick around. They’re all looking to convert curiosity into paying subscribers.

Can Quibi capture the imagination of a generation used to short-form TikTok videos? That’s going to be the real challenge. The rewards are certainly there if it can.