On most afternoons, several Matchbook Creative team members gather for a brief huddle. But not for a meeting or at the water cooler. In our office, 3 p.m. is a standing appointment to play HQ Trivia, the live, mobile app trivia game show that has been called “the future of TV.”
The game has become an internet sensation, now drawing up to 1.2 million users per show. Matchbook Creative believes the strength in HQ lies in what it does for its customers, and that’s a lesson all businesses can learn from.
What is HQ Trivia?
HQ is a live video game show where users have 10 seconds to answer 12 general multiple-choice trivia questions. Once a user answers incorrectly, they’re out for the game but can still watch the game. There are also ways to stay in by using an ‘extra life,’ which are earned by referring other users to download the app. HQ is a free download and ad-free, which keeps the presentation moving and uncluttered.
Creating an Experience
What HQ has done is bring live, appointment viewing – something that is eroding in mainstream TV – to our mobile phones. Playing HQ is an experience, whether you’re with a group at 3 p.m. or at home by yourself for the 9 p.m. game. HQ brings people together by providing appointment interactivity.
Consider the following attributes of HQ that run opposite to what we experience in mainstream TV:
· HQ (for now) provides an ad-free experience.
· Playing is truly interactive. You’re in as long as you’re right.
· Once the game begins, it’s quick – there are only 10 seconds to answer each question.
HQ has taken traditional live TV and created an app that provides personal experiences users care about. That’s because the creators have made something engaging with the end user at the forefront.
A Product for the Users, Not From Them
As mentioned before, after creating an HQ account you aren’t bombarded with ads. Many journalists have recently posted the question, “How does HQ make money?” The key is parlaying the positive experience the game creates into as many engaged eyeballs as possible.
HQ co-founder Rus Yusupov recently told Variety, “For a user, the worst thing is feeling like, ‘I’m being optimized – I’m the product now.’ We want to make a great game, and make it grow and become something really special.”
Nobody captures more eyeballs than Facebook. But it’s clear its product is us – the users who have their data mined for advertisers. That has worked brilliantly for Facebook, but HQ has, at least in the early going, taken a different approach: build a product that your customers enjoy rather than having the customers be the product.
The caveat here is that HQ plans to integrate brands into its gameplay in the future, and marketers all over the country are waiting to see what that will look like. HQ’s live video format is coming at the right time, as live video streaming comes to the forefront of 2018’s marketing trends.
What’s Hotter Than HQ? Live Video
Similarly, we have seen first-hand what live video can do for a client. Our Facebook Live videos for downtown Indianapolis restaurant Spoke & Steele drove nearly 4x more engagement – not to mention the ability to re-purpose the content later – than the rest of the year’s Facebook posts.
Live video promises to grow in importance for brands in 2018. Creating a live broadcast continues to become easier and more accessible to the masses. It’s the idea of building an audience through experience and appointment viewing that has made a difference for HQ.
Crossing contemporary engagement tactics (live video and mobile gaming) with the allure of old-fashioned methods (live TV and game show formatting) has captured the attention of the internet. Next will come brands and agencies.