CEO Meg Whitman said that the mobile video service Quibi had 1.7 million downloads during its first week.
Quibi, which offers shortform episodic programming, was designed to be viewed on the go. The service launched April 6 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Meg Whitman told CNBC host David Faber on Monday that sheltering in place "didn't hurt us at all."
The 1.7 million figure that Whitman cited does not indicate how many people signed up for the app, which is offering an extended 90-day free trial. Once the trial ends, Quibi will cost $5 with advertising and $8 without advertising.
Whitman said that even while isolating at home, people are still finding time to tune in to the app's slate of programming, everything from comedy Flipped starring Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson to a reboot of Punk'd, during breaks in the day.
She notied that 80 percent of people who start a Quibi show watch the entirety of the first episode. Completion rates are likely to be higher for Quibi shows in comparison to other streamers, given that all episodes run under 10 minutes each.
Whitman also said that the company was stepping up plans to let the app cast to TVs. Big-screen viewing was always part of the plan, she said, but it wasn’t meant to be part of the launch.
While those are good signs for the service, the TV plans are still an acknowledgment that Quibi is concerned about viewership. And while the downloads are healthy, they pale in comparison to the 10 million downloads of Disney+ in its first week.
Quibi has raised $1.75 billion to create a mobile-first streaming video service devoted to offering up bite-sized programming. Unlike streaming giant Netflix, Quibi isn't relying on libraries of licensed hits. Instead, it launched with 50 new shortform series, including news-driven programming called Daily Essentials.