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Report: Quibi Talking to Roku, Amazon Fire About TV App

(Image credit: Quibi)

Short-form video streaming service Quibi is reportedly in talks with Roku and Amazon Fire TV about creating links to their connected TV platforms, a move that would allow users of the mobile app to watch programming on their home sets. 

According to a report in Variety, Quibi has recently restarted talks with Amazon and its negotiations with Roku are in the early stages. The trade paper said one potential roadblock is Roku’s displeasure with Quibi’s revenue-sharing proposal. 

Quibi launched on April 6 and so far has failed to live up to expectations. The app had about 300,000 downloads on its first day -- well short of forecasts -- and 1.7 million in its first week.  According to the Wall Street Journal, at this rate the service will have less than 2 million paying customers in its first year, about 30% of the 7.4 million it had originally targeted. 

According to Variety, analytics firms Apptopia said the Quibi app has been downloaded about 4 million times between April 6 and May 28, but only 30% (about 1.2 million) are active daily users of the service.

The app also has consistently placed poorly in rankings of apps downloaded from the Apple App Store -- it has since reached deals with Apple Air Play and Google Chrome, but some observers believe that may be too little, too late.  

Quibi founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has blamed the tepid response to the app on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hurt the “on-the-go” nature of the service. More recently, he has said Quibi has pulled back on marketing as protests over the killing of George Floyd have swept the country. 

Criticism of Quibi has been heavy in the weeks since its launch and the company has made moves to allow consumers to cast shows from their phones or tablets to their TVs. Creating a TV app would go a long way onward making that action easier for consumers. 

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