Quibi off to rough start as free trials come to an end

Eric Abent - Jul 9, 2020, 10:51am CDT
Quibi off to rough start as free trials come to an end

Attempting to launch a streaming service is a risky endeavor at the moment. Not only is the space a crowded one, but it’s dominated by some big names. Quibi is a service that has tried to stand out from the others by offering short-form video content tailored for smartphones, but it seems that the service is having trouble attracting large numbers of new users and keeping them beyond the free trial phase.

That’s according to a new report from Sensor Tower (as reported by The Verge), which says that as three-month free trials begin to expire, Quibi has only managed to keep around 8% of the users who signed up at the beginning of April. That isn’t necessarily a bad conversation rate, but when 8% only represents around 72,000 users, things become a little more dire for the service.

Granted, that isn’t all of Quibi’s paying customers, as those who signed up in May and June only received 14-day free trials, so there could very well be more who actually subscribed to Quibi’s service. Quibi hasn’t revealed how many paying customers it has, but it does say that 5.6 million people have downloaded the app since it launched on April 6th – a number that’s at odds with Sensor Tower’s estimates of 4.5 million downloads.

In a statement to The Verge, Quibi said that Sensor Tower’s “number of paid subscribers is incorrect by an order of magnitude,” without setting the record straight. “To date, over 5.6 million people have downloaded the Quibi app,” that spokesperson conversion. “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.”

So, Quibi takes issue with Sensor Tower’s estimates – which are generally pretty accurate – but doesn’t want to give numbers outside of total downloads. We’ll see what happens from here, but it certainly seems that Quibi is not off to the start its creators probably hoped for.

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