A newly launched streaming service Quibi, which offers entertainment and news in episodes of 10 minutes or less on mobile phones, has been downloaded more than 2.7 million times since its April 6 debut, founder Jeffrey Katzenberg told Reuters on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.
The founder also stated that some existing Quibi users could avail the facility to cast the service from mobile phones to their televisions starting in May. The latest step was taken after some early viewers had complained that they were unable to watch Quibi programming on their TVs.
A Rapid Surge in the Users
Quibi, which was originally promoted for on-the-go viewing, has witnessed a rapid surge of its users or audiences who have been locked themselves at their homes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It was reported that the downloads for Quibi had increased by 1 million from the figure the company disclosed on April 13, one week after Quibi launched in the US and Canada with a 90-day free trial. After the free trial, subscribing Quibi would cost $5 a month with ads, or $8 a month without them while some T-Mobile customers would be given a free subscription for Quibi for a year.
Katzenberg called the rise of users as “encouraging” for supporting the new service, which has not collaborated with any well-known brand. He said in an interview, “Under the circumstances, launching a new business into the tsunami of a pandemic, we actually have had a very, very good launch.” Katzenberg added, “Obviously we are connecting with an audience out there.”
According to Reuters, “The service is a gamble by Hollywood that it can carve out another category in the crowded streaming video landscape. Its programming features a large roster of A-list stars including LeBron James, Chance the Rapper, and Reese Witherspoon.”
Optimistic Views in Future
Streaming giant Netflix Inc. warned on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, that the growth for online streaming would slow down once stay-at-home orders were lifted but Katzenberg said he expected the impact on Quibi to be “the opposite.” He explained that Quibi was designed for users to watch on the go while waiting in line, commuting, or during other in-between moments.
Katzenberg asserted, “The sooner we get back to that use case, I think, is the one where we actually get to see how successful and valuable Quibi could be to its customers.” He described that Quibi’s most-viewed show to date was a thriller “Most Dangerous Game” starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz besides other top shows including “Chrissy’s Court,” “Flipped,” “Punk’d,” and “Survive.”
Apart from that, top news programs and talk shows of Quibi included “Around the World by BBC News,” “The Report by NBC News,” “No Filter by TMZ,” “The Rachel Hollis Show,” and “Sexology with Shan.” Katzenberg said that this week, Quibi had released a new comedy “Dummy” starring Anna Kendrick, as a woman who meets her boyfriend’s sex doll. The trailer of the new show has been viewed more than 3 million times on social media.
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