Short-form streaming video service Quibi (“quick-bites”) launched on Monday and, according to App Annie, had 700,000+ iPhone and Android downloads, making it the most downloaded app that day in the nation. App Annie also revealed that Quibi was No. 2 in entertainment apps for the iPhone on Monday from 3:00 am to 2:00 pm (the No. 1 app during that period was TikTok). App Annie director of market insights Amir Ghodrati stated that this was “a strong start for a brand-new app without an established brand or content.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that Sensor Tower, in its preliminary estimates, said that 300,000+ mobile phone users in the U.S. and Canada downloaded the app on Monday, comparing it with “HBO Now, which launched in April 7, 2015, with 45,000 installs, and to Disney+, which launched in the U.S. and Canada on Nov. 12 with 4 million installs.”
“Quibi’s release figures were bolstered by a lengthy preorder period, effectively front-loading a significant number of downloads into its launch day,” said Sensor Tower head of mobile insights Randy Nelson.
Quibi, which streams programs 10 minutes or less for $4.99 per month with ads and $7.99 without, launched with 50 shows. Among them are “Survive,” a Sophie Turner thriller told in chapters; “Flipped,” with Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson; “Chrissy’s Court,” with Chrissy Teigen; and a reboot of “Punk’d” hosted by Chance the Rapper.
The company, which raised $1.75 billion, was “initially pitched as a streaming service for people on the go,” but, said analysts, with so many people at home, Quibi “could benefit from the surge in home viewing and the hunger among consumers for diversionary entertainment.”
The New York Times reviewer stated that, after an initial experience of “unfortunate marketing” with a Charmin ad, “you might expect a little more attention to detail from a business that’s been gearing up for two years, has raised close to $1.8 billion and recruited J. Lo, LeBron (James) and Steven (Spielberg), among many others.”
The first four scripted shows (three dramas and a comedy) include high-profile actors Christoph Waltz, Liam Hemsworth and Sophie Turner. “What the shows do demonstrate is just how agonizingly long eight or nine minutes of television can feel when it’s tying up your smartphone,” says NYT, which adds that the questions “Why Quibi?” and “Why Now?” remain “unresolved.”
The NYT’s conclusion is that, “rather than explore new storytelling forms suited to the cellphone,” as Snapchat and TikTok have done, Quibi relies on “conventional dramatic formulas” in “bite-size videos.”
“While the majority of the content feels geared towards the 18-26 demographic, there are shows on there that have mass appeal,” suggests Gamespot. “Ultimately, this is a service geared towards people who would rather have their streaming content on their phone over on a television, and there’s obviously nothing wrong with that. It’s a unique way to market it.”
Ranking the First 26 Quibis from Worst to Best, Film School Rejects, 4/8/20
The 11 Best Quibi Shows to Watch Right Now, Tom’s Guide, 4/8/20
So, Which Quibis Are Worth Your Time?, Vulture, 4/6/20
Quibi: The Strange Streaming Service Designed for Gen-Z That Gets Better the More You Tinker With It, Gamespot, 4/8/20