NBCU's Peacock appears to be having a somewhat better launch than Quibi did, based on data from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower. While numbers pointing to new app downloads aren't a complete picture of consumer adoption for a cross-platform service, they can provide a window into early traction outside of any official numbers provided by the companies themselves.
In Peacock's case, Sensor Tower says the mobile app has now been downloaded around 1.5 million times across the U.S. App Store and Google Play within its first 6 days on the market.
For comparison, that's 25% more than the 1.2 million installs Quibi saw during the same period post-launch in the U.S., but only 12% of the 13 million downloads Disney+ generated within its first six days.
Sensor Tower chose not to compare Peacock with HBO Max due to the fact that HBO's new service replaced the existing HBO Now app, which was already preinstalled on consumer devices. That would not be as apt a comparison.
Peacock, of course, doesn't have the brand-name recognition of Disney. And arguably, its name doesn't translate into consumers' minds as "NBC," despite its connection to the classic peacock logo. Disney, meanwhile, had a built-in fan base before its streaming service's launch. And, more broadly, there was pent-up consumer demand for a more family-friendly offering, as well.
Before last week's launch, Peacock had been available on parent company Comcast's Xfinity X1 and Flex platforms, but that didn't include its mobile companion. The mobile app instead officially launched on July 15, and quickly shot up to No. 1 on the iPhone App Store, where it remained through the following day. On iPad, it ranked No. 1 between July 16 and July 18.
Today, the app has since dropped to No. 26 on iPhone (among nongame apps). Meanwhile, on Google Play, it has ranked No. 2 since July 17, and is No. 1 among nongame apps.
Quibi had also seen early traction on the app stores' top charts shortly after its launch, ranking as high as No. 4 on iPhone on its launch day, April 6. But just over a week later it had rapidly fallen out of the U.S. iPhone app rankings, App Annie's data indicated, dropping out of the top 50. That saw it coming in behind Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Peacock hasn't yet fallen that far, which could be a good signal.
There was also much discussion that Quibi's failure to gain significant early traction had to do with its lack of support for TV viewing, despite launching in the middle of a pandemic when users were staying at home and watching on their living room big screens.
However, it's worth pointing out that Peacock hasn't yet rolled out to the two most widely adopted living room platforms in the U.S.: Amazon Fire TV and Roku. That lends more support to the idea that Quibi hasn't been struggling to grow because of its mobile-only nature, but because its content wasn't drawing in viewers.
For what it's worth, Quibi has disputed recent reports of its slow traction, noting earlier this month its app had gained 5.6 million downloads since launch -- more than the 4.5 million Sensor Tower had claimed at the time.
Even if Sensor Tower's estimates aren't an exact science, the overall trend its figures paint is one where neither Peacock nor Quibi have become overnight sensations at launch. Of course, the growth trajectory for any Netflix rival is sure to be tough in today's crowded market. But these companies have made it even more difficult for consumers to connect due to their lack of a recognizable brand name and their failure to offer dedicated apps for top living room devices at launch.