Only 72,000 Early Quibi Users Stuck Around After Free Trial, Sensor Tower Estimates

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Quibi pushed back on estimate, saying the firm’s number was “incorrect by an order of magnitude,” without sharing an official subscriber figure

A Conversation With Quibi's Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg And Quibi Creators Lena Waithe, Veena Sud, And Kaitlin Olson At Sundance 2020
Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Quibi

Most of Quibi’s early users have decided to not pay for the new streaming service after their free trial, according to new data shared by Sensor Tower. Out of 910,000 people who downloaded Quibi in the three days following its April 6 launch, only 72,000 users converted to paying subscriptions, Sensor Tower said late on Tuesday. In other words, the vast majority of early subscribers ditched the service, spearheaded by founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, after their free 90-day trial concluded. Overall, Quibi has been downloaded about 4.5 million times since its debut, per Sensor Tower. Quibi, when reached for comment, pushed back against Sensor Tower’s estimates and pointed out the firm doesn’t have access to the company’s internal data. “The number of paid subscribers is incorrect by an order of magnitude. To date, over 5.6 million people have downloaded the Quibi app,” a Quibi rep said in a statement.  “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 service has launched with about $1.8 billion in funding and a laundry list of A-list stars signed on to make content, including Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, and Kevin Hart, just to name a few. After its free trial, Quibi cost subscribers $4.99 per month for ad-supported streaming and $7.99 per month for ad-free streaming of its bite-sized shows. Quibi estimated it would pull in 7.4 million paying users by the end of its first year, but early projections from Sensor Tower indicate it could fall well short. A recent Wall Street Journal report estimated that Quibi will have 2 million paying subscribers by the end of its first year, according to a person familiar with the company’s operations. In May, some of Quibi’s first users shared what they liked and disliked about the app. You can read their complaints — and compliments — about the app’s content and technical features by going here. Parks Associates Research Director Steve Nason recently told TheWrap that Quibi overestimated how many users would be willing to pay for a short-form service that cost at least $4.99 per month. Quibi “overshot what kind of appetite or market they have, especially for their price tier. They’re pricing it as a mid-to-large service — $4.99 to $7.99 — and not a niche service or mid-tier service,” Nason said. “It’s a short-form video service, and it’s not going to be a foundational service for pretty much anyone, even for its Gen Z and millennial target groups.”