- Disney invested in the parent company of mobile game-show app HQ Trivia as the media giant extends its push into mobile and direct-to-consumer platforms, Digiday reported. A Disney spokesperson confirmed the investment in Intermedia Labs as part of the Disney Accelerator program to incubate budding media and entertainment startups.
- The amount of Disney's investment wasn't disclosed. Intermedia Labs this year revealed in a regulatory filing its plans to raise $15 million and that it needed $2.46 million to close the funding round.
- HQ Trivia is a pioneer in streaming live, mobile game shows that urge millions of participants to compete for cash prizes. HQ Trivia's user base almost tripled to 6.7 million U.S. adults in August from 2.5 million in December, per comScore data cited by Digiday.
Disney's investment in Intermedia Labs comes as the media giant takes steps to expand its presence in mobile platforms as video viewership migrates to smartphones and tablets from TV, and as more people cancel paid-TV services in favor of over-the-top services like Netflix and Hulu. Disney last month partnered with HQ Trivia on a Disney-themed show that tested viewers on their knowledge of Disney movies. More than 800,000 people competed for a cash prize of $5,000 in that game, which had about 17,000 winners, per HQ Buff.
As Digiday notes, Disney's investment in HQ Trivia may lead to more opportunities for Disney to expand the show's reach among its streaming apps like ESPN+ or to create an HQ Trivia-branded show broadcast on ABC. Disney next year plans to introduce its Disney Play service that will compete more directly with Netflix. Disney last month was in the early stages of developing an original series based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, whose characters include "Spider-Man" and "The Avengers," for its streaming service, Variety reported.
HQ Trivia has lured sponsorships from major media brands even as broadcasters like Fox and TBS create their own live-trivia apps. Fox's "FN Genius" appeared in August, and late-night TV host Samantha Bee last month launched the "This Is Not a Game: The Game" to urge people to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.