Digital trivia shows are becoming big business

As we explore in our new Betterment report, young generations value lifelong learning and are on the hunt for fun ways to better their brains. The majority of youth, as well as three-quarters of U.S. Trendsetters and 69% of UK Trendsetters, are interested in brand-sponsored/hosted trivia events, and some brands are ahead of the game, forming new partnerships with hit game shows and inspiring more entrants in the space.


With more than 2 million viewers tuning in live, game show app HQ Trivia paved the way for the trivia trend and turned host Scott Rogowsky into Gen Y’s Alex Trebek. Brands have taken note. Nike partnered with mobile the game on a special giveaway last week dubbed Air Max Day in which four winners scored limited-edition HQ Air Max 270 sneakers and a $25,000 prize for each player. The app also landed Warner Bros for a $3 million ad deal and a $250,000 player jackpot.


Using celebrity hosts like Wyclef Jean and a $1 million prize pool, live streaming app Live.me wants to take on HQ Trivia. Per Business Insider, Live has been heavily investing in the trivia show QuizBiz, which, like HQ, seamlessly combines the classic game show vibe with live streaming and mobile gaming. The show is nearly identical to its competitor in which a host reads a series of 12 multiple-choice questions, and anyone who answers all 12 correctly walks away with a chunk of the prize. Unlike HQ, it airs three times a day instead of two.


Another HQ competitor called The Q was founded by Will Jamieson, the CEO of video platform Stream, after he tried and failed to collaborate with HQ during some of its early growth issues when the game would lag and crash as it increased in popularity. Like HQ, users compete against players across the world to win money and split a cash prize, but the tone is more casual than the original. As pointed out in The Verge, it seems to be trying to coexist with HQ rather than replace it. Other games like Let’s Hang Time hope to ride the wave as well.