Quibi, the new streaming service that’s devoted to short-form content or “quick bites,” if you will had its big launch yesterday. The result? Not great! The nascent streaming service is offering users a 90-day free trial, but even that didn’t seem to be enough of an incentive for people to give it a shot. As a result, only 300,000 users downloaded the app. That’s not exactly a terrible number, but…it’s not very good, either.
A lot of people are comparing the launch of Quibi to the recent launch of Disney+. The Disney service scored four million installs when it launched, which is much, much better than Quibi’s 300,000. But it doesn’t seem fair to compare the two. Disney is a huge brand name with a gargantuan legacy, while, in comparison, no one knows what the hell Quibi is. Of course Disney would have a better debut.
All that said, 300,000 downloads of a major streaming service featuring big stars still isn’t ideal – especially now, when everyone is stuck at home craving content. But fate was just not in Quibi’s favor. The entire idea of the streaming service is that it provides content for people on the go. You can watch a five to 10 minute episode on your train ride to work, or on your lunch break. But when the CEO of Quibi, Mr. Quentin Quibi, was dreaming this entire idea, no one could’ve predicted a pandemic would break out and strand everyone at home. As a result, virtually no one is on the go right now. So there’s no real incentive to fit in some quick bites.
Word-of-mouth might help Quibi, hough the reaction to the service’s content has been muted. I watched 25 shows on Quibi, and I’ll confess that out of everything I saw, only two or three programs really impressed me. Everything else felt rather forgettable, or worse – just plain bad. Still, Quibi has yet to unleash all of its content. It has more on the horizon – including a horror series created by none other than Mr. Steven Spielberg. Perhaps the service will be able to recover from its rough start in the upcoming months.
At least 300,000 individuals downloaded Quibi, the entertainment industry's newest streaming service, on its Monday launch date according to data from two analytics firms.
Sensor Tower reported that more than 300,000 users downloaded the mobile-only, short form platform while App Annie estimated 700,000 users downloaded Quibi on Monday. The numbers were originally reported by Variety and the Los Angeles Times, respectively. IndieWire confirmed the data with both analytics firms.
The sharply varying numbers make it difficult to determine how much traction Quibi gained on its launch day and exemplifies the difficulty of determining how successful streaming services are. While Nielsen's ratings have long been the voice of authority for television viewership, there is no standard of measurement for the industry's numerous streaming services.
A Quibi spokesperson referred IndieWire to the Los Angeles Times report and did not release its own data on downloads.
“We are very excited about our day one performance,” Quibi said in a statement.
While it's unclear which data set is accurate, that at least 300,000 users downloaded the “quick bites” streaming service suggest that Quibi turned more than a few heads on Monday. The platform launched with dozens of original titles — Quibi offers no library content — and boasts significant star power. A wide variety of household names, from Cardi B and Chance the Rapper to Idris Elba, Will Forte, and Kaitlin Olson, star in various Quibi series, and entertainment industry heavyweights such as Steven Spielberg and Steven Soderbergh are working on upcoming projects for the platform.
While hundreds of thousands of users have downloaded the app, only time will tell if they stick around long enough to make the $1.75 billion-backed platform a success. Quibi is offering a lengthy 90-day free trial, which no doubt helped court early adopters, and a yearlong subscription is available for free to select T-Mobile customers. An ad-supported version of Quibi costs $4.99 per month, while the ad-free version runs $7.99 per month.
IndieWire praised a handful of Quibi's launch titles, including LeBron James’ documentary “I Promise” and the noire-inspired “Movie in Chapters.” That said, “Memory Hole,” one of IndieWire's top rated Quibi launch titles, became the center of controversy when an art collective claimed the show plagiarized its art and other material.