- Warner Bros. made a $3 million deal with live game show app HQ Trivia to promote three upcoming movies, unnamed sources told AdAge. The movie studio's promotion of Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" will be featured on March 28 in the game that offers a prize of $250,000, just one day before the movie's premiere.
- HQ Trivia will promote the movie by including the sponsor's name and asking players questions related to the buzzed-about movie. It's not yet clear whether a trailer for the movie or a video ad will also display during the game.
- Nike sponsored a surprise HQ Trivia game on Monday for a shared $100,000 prize to celebrate its annual Air Max Day. The maker of athletic apparel gave away 100 pairs of sneakers during the game to commemorate the date when the shoes first debuted on March 26, 1987.
Russ Yusupov, HQ Trivia CEO and co-founder, said that sponsorships on the app won't look like traditional TV commercials, per Axios, which described Trivia HQ as "millennial Jeopardy" because of its participatory game format and younger-skewing audience. Instead, players can expect native content. The Nike shoe giveaway is one example of that kind of sponsorship. Whether HQ Trivia has staying power or is another fad remains to be seen, but in the meantime, sponsors appear willing to give the app a try.
Warner Bros. and Nike are the first to get on board as sponsors of HQ Trivia, which has been heralded as "the future of TV" because it manages to regularly gather a large live audience engaging in the same content, per Futurism. That's appealing to advertisers like Warner Bros. and Nike that have had to contend with on-demand video that lets people scatter their viewing times, and digital video recorders that help viewers skip commercials. For HQ Trivia, players participate directly in the games, deepening engagement with the programming and potentially increasing viewability of sponsored content.
HQ Trivia, which was started by the creators of short-form video app Vine, shows how mobile media have evolved to host live video programming with faster bandwidth and more advanced technology. Since its release in August, the app has steadily built a sizeable audience, including a record high of 2.2 million viewers on Oscar night on March 4, with its fast-paced mix of trivia games and enticing cash prizes. The mobile audience participates by answering 12 trivia questions for a chance to win. People who all the answers right split the prize money, although HQ Trivia also has run contests that award a single player the entire prize.