Quibi exceeds expectations, sees 1.7 million downloads in first week

A week ago, the question was, “Will people care about Quibi?” In a very crowded streaming market, is there room for another unique service? And a paid one at that?

After seeing 300,000 downloads on the first day, it looked like people actually did care. But now, a week in, we have a solid answer. It turns out, people do, as the app saw 1.7 million downloads in the first week alone.

Quibi’s CEO Meg Whitman (formerly the head of eBay) called the launch “one of the most successful launches of a completely new brand and a completely new app,” adding that nearly 2 million downloads exceeded even their own expectations. Whitman also went on to say she’s aware the launch came at an inopportune time, but she doesn’t feel like the current pandemic had any effect on things.

If you somehow missed the $1.75 billion advertising blitz, here’s Quibi in a nutshell: it’s “quick bites” of content (hence the “Quibi” name) that’s all original and all under 10 minutes an episode. It has sports highlights (but not right now of course), news shows, scripted shows, reality TV, movies and more.

And maybe most uniquely, it’s mobile-only. That’s right… no smart TV app and no PC access. This is all content to watch in your hand.

Some big-time names are on board for coming and current content like Bill Murray, Steven Spielberg , Will Smith, Cam Newton, Demi Lovato, Joe Jonas, Kevin Hart, Chrissy Teigan, LeBron James and more.

Now the question turns to: will people actually pay for Quibi? The service has a longer than usual free trial period of 90 days, so we should have more of a feel for that come July. But it’s worth noting the company has sold all of its ad spaces until April of 20201, so there won’t be a decline in ad revenue.

Artie Beaty