Quibi converts less than 10% after free trial, report claims

Short-form streamer Quibi has come to the end of its 90-day introductory free trial and the initial outlook for the Jeffrey Katzenberg founded company is not good, according to a new report.

Mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower has said Quibi only saw about 72,000 of the 910,000 users who signed up for the trial decide that the product was something that they wanted to pay for going forward. This translates to a conversion rate of about 8%.

The report may make for some nervy reading for Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, with the company looking to satisfy investors including BBC Studios and ITV Studios who pitched in more than $1.75bn before the app’s launch.

Quibi may take some comfort in the fact that the conversion rate is similar to what Sensor Tower reported for Disney+. Disney’s streaming product saw an 11% conversion rate of users who signed up in the US and Canada in the first three days, but that was out of 9.5 million.

Disney+ has gone on to prove a success, managing more than 54 million subscribers globally thanks to the draw of blockbuster titles such as recent release Hamilton.

However, Sensor Tower’s figures differ from Quibi’s estimation of how many people actually downloaded the app in the first place. Quibi puts that total at 5.6 million downloads since April, while the mobile research firm only estimates 4.5 million downloads.

This discrepancy led a spokesperson for the company to tell The Verge that “the number of paid subscribers is incorrect by an order of magnitude,” and that “our conversion from download to trial is above mobile app benchmarks, and we are seeing excellent conversion to paid subscribers.”

Katzenberg has previously admitted that the pick-up-and-go streamer has struggled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Advertisers are also believed to be getting antsy about the service, with it being reported that a number of big names like PepsiCo and Walmart are seeking revised packages.

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