It’s been quite a tough start for Quibi in the two months since its launch and the challenges don’t seem to be letting up. According to a new report by The Wall Street Journal, the short-form streaming service is in danger of missing its one-year subscriber goal. The company is projected to be on track to sign-up 2 million paying subscribers by April 2021, a far cry from the 7.4 million subscribers they expected to garner after year one.
“App downloads of Quibi have slowed considerably since the April 6 launch. Quibi’s drop-off is all the more concerning because users aren’t even paying for the service yet: It debuted with a 90-day-free offer, meaning that starting in early July users will need to fork over actual money to access Quibi,” Variety noted.
According to Apptopia, Quibi was downloaded four million times in the period between its launch day, April 6, through May 28. Of those four million, the analytics company says only 30 percent are active daily users, with the most popular show being the reboot of Comedy Central’s “Reno 911!”
Just last week, Sensor Tower revealed Quibi was the fourth ranked app based on number of downloads for iPhones at launch. However, that number has since tanked, placing the app at 284 as of June 9, well below Disney+, which was at 50 and HBO Max, which was at number 67, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Sensor Tower also revealed the app reached “its lowest level of first-time installs with 62,000, down from 170,000 a week earlier,” the week of June 8, The Los Angeles Times reported. The Times also noted Quibi disputed the firm’s numbers, saying their data “differs from the information Quibi receives directly from Apple and Google and that its app has been downloaded at least 4.6 million times, including those who signed up for a free trial.”
Quibi has also faced other troubles outside of luring subscribers. Not only did the short-form streaming service launch right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, but because people were forced to stay at home, it’s mobile-only viewing model became a point of contention for users.
The company was (and still is) in the middle of a patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets legal battle with Eko over the Turnstyle technology.
For CEO Meg Whitman, Quibi’s poor performance can be attributed partially to the pandemic as well as the ongoing protests against racism. The streamer stopped their marketing last week and didn’t release any new shows. “These are truly pivotal and unprecedented times,” Whitman told The Times. “We needed to take the time to step back, be a part of this discussion.”