Nation & World

Streaming service Quibi starts off strong

It tops Disney+, Netflix in downloads

Top basketball prospect Jalen Green - seen with his sister, Jurnee - is one of the young subjects of the Quibi sports do
Top basketball prospect Jalen Green — seen with his sister, Jurnee — is one of the young subjects of the Quibi sports documentary series, “Prodigy.” (Park Stories/Quibi/TNS)
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Quibi, the new Hollywood streaming service, had a promising launch on Monday, with a surge of downloads catapulting it to become one of the most popular entertainment apps, according to San Francisco app analytics firm App Annie.

The start-up ranked second for U.S. entertainment apps for the iPhone from 3 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, App Annie said.

The No. 1 app during that time period based on the number of hourly app downloads was video sharing app TikTok. Placing below Quibi in third place was Disney+, followed by Netflix and Hulu, the analytics firm said.

On Sunday, the top five entertainment iPhone apps were TikTok, followed by Disney+, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, App Annie said. When Quibi launched on Monday morning, Amazon wasn’t part of the top five.

“It’s a strong start for a brand-new app without an established brand or content like Disney+,” said Amir Ghodrati, director of market insights for App Annie.

App Annie said the number of downloads was not immediately available.

Sensor Tower, a San Francisco company that tracks app data, said Tuesday that it estimates more than 300,000 mobile phone users in the United States and Canada installed the app on Monday.

Sensor Tower compared Quibi to HBO Now, which launched in April 2015, with 45,000 installs, and to Disney+, which launched in the United States and Canada on Nov. 12 with 4 million installs.

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“Quibi’s release figures were bolstered by a lengthy pre-order period, effectively front-loading a significant number of downloads into its launch day,” wrote Randy Nelson, head of Sensor Tower’s mobile insights, in a blog post.

Quibi, which streams programs in segments of 10 minutes or less, charges $4.99 a month for programming with ads and $7.99 without ads. The service started on Monday with 50 shows, including movies told in chapters such as the Sophie Turner thriller “Survive” and the prank show “Punk’d.”

The company has raised $1.75 billion and advertised in prominent places, including a Super Bowl ad that cost $5.6 million.

The service launched at a time when more consumers are sheltering at home to avoid spreading the coronavirus. Quibi been had initially pitched as a streaming service for people on the go, who could watch these short entertaining videos while waiting for their coffee or riding the subway.

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