Quibi streaming service reports 1.7 million downloads in its first week

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LOS ANGELES, Apr 13 (Reuters) – Some 1.7 million people downloaded the new Quibi entertainment streaming app during its first week on the market, Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman told CNBC television on Monday.

Offering movies, reality shows and news in episodes of 10 minutes or less, Quibi was released on April 6 in the United States and Canada with a free 90-day trial. The service is a Hollywood gamble that can forge another category in the crowded video streaming landscape.

Initial downloads exceeded the company’s expectations, Whitman said. The mobile-only service had been promoted to be seen on trips, for example, or while you stand in line.

Quibi executives decided to go ahead with the launch, despite the fact that people were isolated in their homes to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

“It turns out that people have dead moments at home,” said Whitman. “We do not believe it will harm us,” he added.

The executive also said that 80% of people who started watching a show completed the first episode.

Quibi features a long list of talents like LeBron James, Liam Hemsworth, Chance the Rapper, and Reese Witherspoon. It was founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and is backed by $ 1.8 billion from Hollywood studios and other investors.

After the free trial, the service will cost $ 5 per month with ads and $ 8 per month without them. Some T-Mobile customers may have it free for one year.

Some users have complained that they cannot watch Quibi programming on their televisions. Whitman said the service’s engineering team was developing a feature that allows users to stream the app from their phones to their televisions.

(Report by Lisa Richwine. Edited in Spanish by Lucila Sigal)

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