What have been the key features of HQ Trivia's success?

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What have been the key features of HQ Trivia's success?

The key features of HQ Trivia's Success include the unique concept, accessible structure, tempting prizes, and engaging design. Its USPs include its unique hybrid live video/game format and the potential it represents for anyone over the age of 17 to win cash rewards through knowledge.


HQ Trivia is a "live mobile trivia game" created in August 2017 by the founders of Vine, Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll. At designated times each day, all players open the app and attempt to answer twelve multiple-choice questions. If they answer one question incorrectly, they are eliminated from the round. A cash prize is split among everyone who answers all twelve questions correctly.

HQ Trivia was initially only available on iPhone but was released on Android on New Year's Eve, right before 2018. Within 24 hours, it was downloaded via the Google Play store between 100,000 and 500,000 times.

After an exhaustive search of press releases, the App Store, industry reports, and company reports, I determined that there is no publicly available information about HQ Trivia's user demographics because HQ Trivia has not released this information.

However, I did locate other information about HQ Trivia's users. In November 2017, each game had an average of 60,000 players. In December 2017, this increased to 300,000 players. On Christmas in 2017, the app set a record with 730,000 players. According to AppAnnie, HQ Trivia's highest rankings have included: 1st in US trivia game downloads, 5th in US game downloads, and 12th in all US downloads.

I have determined the key features of HQ Trivia's success based on those factors that frequently appear in press releases and industry reports as influential in shaping HQ Trivia's growth and popularity.


One of HQ Trivia's USPs--and one of the main reasons for its success--is its unique concept. HQ Trivia is "simultaneously a TV show, a mobile game, and an advertising and product giveaway platform." By combining the qualities of each of these platforms, HQ Trivia reaches and appeals to a wider audience. Many major media companies have been attempting to create this type of multi-faceted video content, and some believe that this is the first app to successfully achieve that.


In addition to HQ Trivia's overall concept, the app's specific structure has also been critical to its success. For example, providing multiple choice questions engages a wider range of users, even those with limited trivia knowledge. The questions also cover a wide range of topics, including "science, history, literature, entertainment, current events...and such left-field fields as typography." In addition, the 10-second limit prevents players from finding the answer online.

Finally, HQ Trivia is unique for its "appointment gaming," in which users play during a scheduled day and time. For HQ Trivia, that time is 9 PM ET every day and also 3 PM ET on weekdays, for about 13 minutes. Another main USP of HQ Trivia, appointment gaming helps ensure that users participate and also creates opportunities for advertising and generating revenue.


HQ Trivia's success is due in part to the nature of its prizes. By offering large sums of real money to users, in addition to free entrance, HQ Trivia sets itself apart.

One of the top players of HQ Trivia, Paul Paquet, who also works full-time writing trivia questions for various competitions, suggests that HQ Trivia strategically designs the difficulties of its questions. Paquet believes "that they’re aiming to get a number of people winning $50 each time, at least if not more. Because I think they’ve realized that that’s sort of the threshold where people will go onto social media and say, 'Hey, I won $80, $105 on HQ.'" By adjusting the difficulty of the questions and the size of the cash prize, HQ Trivia can shape the individual payout.


HQ Trivia has also been successful as a result of its design. It is visually appealing for users, who "find their screens spinning with soft-edged geometric graphics rendered in a color palette—canary yellow, cornflower blue, sea-foam green, raspberry—evoking a progressive preschool with synth-pop sensibilities." The music has an "agreeably generic electronic tune, chill but upbeat."

A chat box features comments from players around the world, and the game is hosted by a comedian, Scott Rogowsky, among other rotating hosts. Their jokes and outfits are "designed to be corny" as "a bit of an affectionate spoof of the conventions of this genre," ultimately satisfying users. In that sense, HQ Trivia draws upon the success of earlier trivia game shows from the 1950s.


In conclusion, HQ Trivia has gained and retained players thanks to its unique live video format, which combines multiple genres; its engaging structure that allows broad participation and discourages online searches; cash prizes with no entrance fee; and appealing graphic design, music, and entertaining hosts. Players are drawn to HQ Trivia's USPs: anyone 17 years or older with a smartphone can compete for cash prizes, as well as the app's unique and engaging format.

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