After tallying 1.7 million app downloads its first week and declaring it a better-than-expected result, new mobile-first streaming service Quibi seems to be losing momentum.
According to mobile business tracking firm App Annie, as of Friday the Quibi app for iPhone has fallen to 82nd place among a ranking of the most popular apps in Apple’s app store, trailing Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video and pretty much every other already established streaming service.
The picture is quite a bit better in the Google Play Store, where the Quibi Android app ranks 15th and is the top-ranked streaming service app. (The Zoom conferencing app is, not so surprisingly, No. 1 across Android and iOS.)
It’s difficult to understand why Quibi is performing significantly better on Android. According to Comscore, Android controls about 54% of the U.S. mobile market vs. 45% for iOS.
But the download metrics are meaningful in that they offer a sense as to how many individuals are using the service in the early phase of its release, which initially occurred Monday, April 6.
Backed with $1.75 billion in private funding, Quibi is a streaming service built exclusively around the mobile environment, offering gobs of original, newly branded content from established producers, cut into episodes of 10 minutes or less.
It’s a new brand, trying to establish a beachhead with 175 new original shows no one has ever heard of before, using a format that has seemingly been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic--it's for viewers who are out and about, not stuck at home.
Reviewers, who have been by-in-large pretty harsh on the platform so far, seem to be evaluating Quibi’s content in the living-room context of Netflix or Disney Plus, rather than interpreting through the lens of a viewer seeing the shows in their natural habitat—on the go, in the subway or the office break room.
Nonetheless, Quibi is scrambling to engineer a solution for porting its content onto televisions.
“We had always planned to be able to cast to your TV, so we’re going to see if we can accelerate that in the engineering roadmap,” Quibi CEO Meg Whitman said on CNBC. “We’ll eventually get there, but it was never a part of the launch. If we had known about COVID, maybe it would have been.”
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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