A new report says that just eight percent of Quibi users paid for subscriptions after the free trial period ended. The report from Sensor Tower (via The Verge) indicates that 910,000 people signed up for the free 90 days in the first three days on marked and only 72,00 decided to sign on for $5/month.” This fact has caused a firestorm on social media since coming to light. Quibi has faced an uphill battle since its announcement as spectators proved skeptical of an app that offered entertainment in 10-minute intervals on cell phones. Well, now, the app is trying to make up ground in whatever way it can. Streaming services are abundant at our current moment, and that widening of choices could be partially to be to blame for the lackluster performance so far, but there is still just no way to account for these numbers in the Sensor Tower report seem less than ideal.
Quibi disputed these claims in a statement to Deadline, “The number of paid subscribers is incorrect by an order of magnitude. Our conversion from download to trial is above mobile app benchmarks, and we are seeing excellent conversion to paid subscribers – both among our 90-day free trial sign-ups from April, as well as our 14-day free trial sign-ups from May and June.”
The reporting surrounding the failure to launch has been so abundant that people are looking for answers as to why the underperformance has been so pronounced. The platform’s co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg famously laid the blame on the pandemic.
"I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus,” Katzenberg said. “Everything. But we own it…Is it the avalanche of people that we wanted and were going for out of launch? The answer is no. It’s not up to what we wanted. It’s not close to what we wanted… If we knew on March 1, which is when we had to make the call, what we know today, you would say that is not a good idea. The answer is, it’s regrettable. But we are making enough gold out of hay here that I don’t regret it.”
Previous data from JustWatch.com indicated that the streaming giants: Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, and Hulu had seen 250% increases since the pandemic began in March. So, that data would seem to refute Katzenberg's findings in this case.
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