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20 June 2018

Mobile reviving the traditional quiz show

Quiz shows have long beena staple of home entertainment, with well-known favourites including Family Fortunes, The Weakest Link and The Price is Right. Jenny McBean explores how this is continuing in the age of the mobile app

The recent UK TV reboot of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and the emergence of more and more quiz based mobile games proves that this traditional quiz format is far from dead. The difference now is that audiences’ also want to be able to experience these at a time convenient to them, as we’ve seen with the ever-growing popularity of Netflix, YouTube and other OnDemand services.

One mobile app that has gone a step further to bringing the quiz show experience closer to players’ is HQ Trivia. Launched in the United States in August 2017 and following in Britain the following January, HQ Trivia is a live quiz show game where players answer 12 increasingly difficult general knowledge questions, with just 10 seconds for each one. Get one wrong, and you’re immediately eliminated; make it to the end and you win a cash prize. The prize pot is split across all winners so individual prize amounts can very from a few pounds to a several hundred.

HQ Trivia is changing the quiz show landscape, allowing users to ‘sit’ in the quiz show chair themselves, wherever they are. However, the fixed show times – 3pm and 9pm – are more akin to the traditional quiz show format of tuning in on a Saturday night. This hybrid model of convenience and suspense seems to be working as, in the States, each HQ Trivia show can see around two-million contestants a time, a significant growth from the eight players who took part in the first ‘episode’. Players are enticed in by playing for a chance to win real money, alongside others who are ‘just like them’.

Part of the game’s success is the live host and in the United States, wisecracking compere Scott ‘Quiz Daddy’ Rogowsky has already become a social media star. There are rumours of other celebrities lining up to host it, with Dwayne Johnson already co-hosting an episode as part of his latest film release. Big brands are keen to be involved too, with Nike giving away Air Max trainers as prizes and the film Ready Player One boosting prize money. Although direct advertising has not yet been incorporated into the game, some feel it is inevitable to sustain the game format without player monetization. Either way, the challenge for HQ Trivia will be to find the right balance of advertising or sponsorship – consumers can be fickle and may quickly churn or find alternatives if they feel there is too much distraction from gameplay.

Other mobile developers have recognised the buzz created by HQ Trivia and are already replicating this, so only time will tell if this new quiz show format is here to stay and if HQ Trivia will remain at the forefront.

Jenny McBean is Research Manager at Bryter, specialising in consumer technology research. For more information on how we support brands navigate the digital landscape contact her on jenny.mcbean@bryter-uk.com

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