Quibi’s first-day app downloads hit around 300,000, coming after months of steady hype surrounding Jeffrey Katzenberg’s ambitious mobile-only streaming service.
That’s according to preliminary estimates from mobile-analytics firm Sensor Tower. Currently, as of Tuesday morning, Quibi ranks as the No. 3 top free app overall on Apple’s App Store in the U.S. (following Zoom and TikTok).
Compared with the bow of Disney Plus, Quibi had a far smaller jump out of the gate: On Nov. 12, 2019, the Mouse House’s streaming app notched approximately 4 million installs in the U.S. and Canada. That puts Quibi’s Day One download total at 7.5% of Disney Plus for the same territories, per Sensor Tower. (Quibi focused its launch in the U.S. and Canada but the U.S. version of the app also is available in other countries as well, the company confirmed.)
To be sure, Disney Plus benefited from a large collection of brand-name movie and TV titles, including Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel and Disney films, as well as 30 seasons of “The Simpsons” along with originals like “The Mandalorian.”
By contrast, Quibi has no library content at all, featuring a launch-day lineup of 50 shows and “chapterized” movies designed for mobile-only viewing. Those include “Survive” starring Sophie Turner and Corey Hawkins; “Most Dangerous Game” starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz; “Punk’d” hosted by Chance the Rapper; reality show “Thanks a Million” from Jennifer Lopez; “Chrissy’s Court” starring Chrissy Teigen; and home-renovation comedy “Flipped” starring Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson.
Quibi did not itself release any user-signup or download stats, but the company said in a statement, “We are very excited about our Day One performance.”
In their review of Quibi’s short-form originals, Variety TV critics Caroline Framke and Daniel D’Addario called the initial batch a “slate of strange, ambitious, and downright ridiculous shows.”
While it trailed Disney Plus in terms of launch-day downloads, Quibi handily beat the estimated download total of HBO Now’s app on Day One from five years ago. On April 7, 2015, HBO Now was installed approximately 45,000 times, coming five days ahead of the “Game of Thrones” Season 5 premiere, per Sensor Tower.
Quibi’s April 6 download figures were bolstered by a lengthy pre-order period, “effectively front-loading a significant number of downloads into its launch day,” according to Sensor Tower head of mobile insights Randy Nelson.
It’s impossible to forecast how well Quibi will fare based on the initial download figures, in large part because the mobile TV service is free for 90 days to anyone (and free to T-Mobile unlimited wireless customers on multiline plans for one year).
Quibi, unlike just about every other subscription VOD platform out there, can be viewed only on mobile devices. That, according to Katzenberg, is because the programming is produced specifically for on-the-go viewing during daytime hours — not streamed during primetime on TVs in the living room. But some have been annoyed by Quibi’s mobile-only restriction, particularly during the COVID-19 quarantine.
Once the free trial period is over, Quibi will cost $4.99 per month with ads and $7.99 per month without ads.