Quibi dropped a massive $1.75 billion on advertising for their new streaming service, and at least initially, it’s paying some dividends.
The app was downloaded an estimated 300,000 times on launch day, pretty solid numbers compared to other streaming services. It’s not quite Disney+ level numbers, but it was enough to launch the app to the number three spot in the Apple App store and the number 29 place in the Google Play store (which raises an interesting question: are Apple users more likely to try Quibi than Android).
Quibi comes on to the scene at a good time (as streaming use is skyrocketing due to quarantines) and it comes out of the gate with a strong 90-day free trial compared to the 30-day or 7-day free trial of most other services, so the strong debut isn’t really a surprise.
The service has enlisted a number of A-list stars to help with content, including Joe Jonas, Anna Kendrick, Cam Newton, Steven Spielberg, Chrissy Teigan, LeBron James, Liam Hemsworth, Bill Murray, Will Smith, Kevin Hart and more, so there’s no denying Quibi is putting out a strong effort.
The long term question though is the one that’s the ultimate one for Quibi. The price tag is $4.99 a month ($7.99 a month without ads), but are people willing to pay?
Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg seems to think so. “One thing that’s happened to me in 45 years of being in Hollywood,” he said, “I’ve never seen an instance where real quality entertainment hasn’t found an audience.” That may come in a week, it may come in a year, he said, but “if you make it and it’s good, they will come.”