Quibi Says It’ll Let Users Cast To TVs Next Month, Reveals Top 5 Most-Watched Originals To Date

By 04/22/2020
Quibi Says It’ll Let Users Cast To TVs Next Month, Reveals Top 5 Most-Watched Originals To Date

Quibi has caved.

When Jeffrey Katzenberg’s shortform video service launched April 6, it was greeted by one major complaint from users:

The service had entirely shut off screen mirroring capabilities, blocking users from watching Quibi content on anything but their smartphones. Prior to launch, Katzenberg explained Quibi had decided to cut mirroring because it “wants to do one thing which no one else is doing and see if we can do it really great.” He and Quibi CEO Meg Whitman had also reiterated multiple times that they are not positioning Quibi as a competitor for streaming services frequently watched on TVs, like Netflix and Hulu.

But now Quibi is giving the people what they want: It’s fast-tracking development of a casting function, and plans to add that to its app sometime in May, Variety reports. We don’t know if the casting feature will allow viewers to use Quibi’s Turnstyle feature, which seamlessly flips content from horizontal to vertical and back anytime they turn their phone, or if content will simply cast to fit a TV display.

In addition to (maybe) pacifying cast-hungry viewers, Quibi told Reuters it’s now up to 2.7 million downloads across the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The company didn’t disclose how many of those downloads have turned into subscribers paying $5 (with ads) or $8 (ad-free) per month–and likely won’t have any kind of conversion rate until July, when the first users will begin to age out of its unusually long 90-day free trial.

Katzenberg did tell Reuters the number of downloads is “encouraging” for a new streaming service not attached to a well-known brand. Quibi has taken in nearly $2 billion in funding from investors including Disney, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Alibaba.

“Under the circumstances, launching a new business into the tsunami of a pandemic, we actually have had a very, very good launch,” Katzenberg said.

Quibi also did not offer any hard viewership metrics, but did say which five shows and which five Daily Essentials (five-to-six-minute news, entertainment, and lifestyle installments) have been the most watched since launch.

Most-Watched Shows Thus Far

  • Most Dangerous Game
  • Chrissy’s Court
  • Flipped
  • Punk’d
  • Survive

Most-Watched Daily Essentials Thus Far

  • Around the World, BBC News
  • No Filter, TMZ
  • The Rachel Hollis Show
  • The Report, NBC News
  • Sexology with Shan

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