Quibi is one week old today, and stats are in as to how well the app is doing. Quibi CEO Meg Whitman, told CNBC Quibi saw 1.7 million app downloads within the first week, with more than 3o0,000 of them on the first launch day.
That might sound like a big number, and it’s even slightly more than the 1 to 1.5 million that was forecasted by analysts. But when you consider that Disney+ had 3.2 million app downloads on its launch day alone, the grandeur seems slightly diminished. Granted, it may be unfair to compare Quibi against a powerhouse like Disney+. After all, Disney has piqued the interest of users of all ages while Quibi’s strategy is to aim for 20-somethings – although its current demographic is viewers in their early 30s. And Disney+ has a back catalog of well-loved classics, anticipated new releases, and sequels, while Quibi’s drawing on content from scratch and relying on celebrity star power.
According to Meg Whitman, 80 percent of Quibi viewers who start watching a show make it through the first episode… which doesn’t sound like a huge victory especially given that episodes are no more than 10 minutes long. Another challenge Quibi faces is the mere fact of being mobile-only, which Quibi itself seems to realize might be a problem. Whitman said casting capabilities were never a plan for launch but are currently in the works for the future.
Throw into the mix an unanticipated changed world full people staying at home with time for binge-worthy shows to get hooked on vs. on-the go “quick bites” meant for a busy day. Not to mention the challenges production is facing for shows like Quibi’s Daily Essentials, which has already delayed Hot Off the Mic, which will feature recent footage in comedy clubs, and the 60 Minutes-inspired 60 in 6.
At the end of the day, the question is really whether these first numbers will be an accurate demonstration of Quibi’s future download rate, or if the numbers will significantly drop after the 90-day free trial is over and the $4.99/a month subscription kicks in. We’ll keep watching in the coming weeks to see whether or not Quibi can hold on to this momentum in an ever-changing streaming climate.
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