- Quibi, the mobile video startup that debuted last week, premiered one of its reality shows in the popular multiplayer video game "Fortnite," per an announcement on Twitter.
- The first episodes of "Punk'd," a reboot of the hidden-camera prank show, were first available in the virtual drive-in section of "Fortnite" called "Risky Reels" starting at 5 p.m. ET on April 10, CNet reported.
- For 24 hours after that, Quibi premiered new episodes of the show starring musician Chance the Rapper at the top of every hour, per the announcement.
Quibi's premiere of "Punk'd" in a video section of "Fortnite" aimed to reach players of the battle royale game, whose developer Epic Games last year reported it had 250 million players worldwide. The game is especially popular with Gen Z and millennials, a target audience for Quibi's style of snackable content on mobile devices. About 63% of "Fortnite" players fall in the 18 to 24 age range, while 23% are 25 to 34, per a study by Verto Analytics that also found that 72% of the game's fans are male. That audience tends to watch mobile video throughout the day for entertainment.
While more recent data hasn't been made public, anecdotal evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in time spent playing "Fortnite" as people rely more on digital entertainment while stuck at home. Italy, for example, implemented a national lockdown to suppress the spread of the virus. As a result, Telecom Italia saw a 70% jump in internet traffic and attributed much of the surge to online gaming, Bloomberg reported. The higher usage gives companies like Quibi a chance to reach "Fortnite" gamers while in quarantine.
Quibi is among the entertainment producers that have hosted events in the "Risky Reels" section of "Fortnite" in the past year. The game in December showcased an exclusive clip from "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" and let players buy game content based on the movie. "Fortnite" also has shown in-game content based on "The Avengers: Endgame," "Stranger Things" and "Birds of Prey," CNet reported. Outside the entertainment industry, companies such as fast-food chain Wendy's and Nike's Jordan brand have run promotions that combined branded content with gameplay in "Fortnite."
It's unclear whether the "Fortnite" promotion has yet to boost downloads for Quibi, which is offering a free 90-day trial to the service and a free year of service to T-Mobile subscribers. Quibi's app was downloaded 300,000 times on its first day in the U.S. and Canada, app analytics firm Sensor Tower estimated, a fraction of the 4 million downloads that Disney+ racked up on its release day in November.