HQ Trivia Rakes in Both Consumers and Advertisers

By Azra Hirji, Global Marketing Manager

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HQ Trivia, a live trivia-style gameshow app for mobile that is taking the world by storm, has this week moved into the social space with the launch of a new feature called ‘Friends on HQ’ – providing users a more social experience enabling them to search and connect with friends and family who are also using the app.

Details and Implications:

HQ hosts two live-streamed games daily where users must answer 12 multiple choice questions in a row correctly to win a cash prize. Players are notified by app alerts when the games are about to begin and the cash prizes have risen as high as $300,000 thanks to the popularity of the app attracting sponsorship from advertisers. The prize money is split between all those players still left in at the end of 12 questions, the attraction being that if you are left alone at the end then it is all yours.

A recent edition saw Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson guest host a game to promote the film Rampage. The sponsored game gave away a $300,000 jackpot to winners (the biggest prize HQ Trivia has seen) and brought in over 2.2 million players. Questions were cleverly disguised as branded content. Other advertisers on HQ Trivia have included Nike and Warner Bros.

This week HQ Trivia launched ‘Friends on HQ’, providing users a more social experience by enabling them to search and connect with friends and family who are also using the app. Once connected, players can see which of their friends and family are playing the same game and how they are doing, adding a layer of competition between friend groups within the app. This new feature launched in the UK first with a US rollout to follow shortly.

Created by Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll (founders of the now-defunct Vine), HQ Trivia launched in August 2017 and has raised more than $15M in funding and now has a valuation of over $100M from the Founders Fund. The mobile gaming start-up has recently opened its doors to advertisers and brands looking for new ways to reach large audiences in an engaged environment. Brands are being drawn to HQ Trivia because, like major sporting events, they know audiences gather together to tune in live and will continue the conversation after the event. HQ Trivia has the added benefit of having users interact with the brand on the platform and its live audience viewership stats right at its fingertips. Instead of having to run data on insight and viewership platforms, HQ Trivia shows how many people are interacting with the platform live during the dedicated gameshow timeslots.


After opening its doors to advertisers, who are then able to put sponsored content into the hands of millions of actively participating consumers, HQ Trivia is fast becoming a hot ticket for brands. It has created a communal, entertaining and addictive ‘appointment to game’ experience that commands when and how a user interacts with the app – an unusual state of relationship between app and user. Though the viral app is still on the rise (a 4300% increase in users to date from November 2017), how it will maintain attention spans and keep marketers interested in advertising on the platform will be interesting to watch develop – does a gameshow have longevity or is this a fad? There are lots of possible options from finding a way to connect and sync live TV with the app to more brand and celebrity integrations. For the moment however, the novelty of the experience seems to be drawing in the audiences.

Further Reading:

TechCrunch / The Verge / Business Insider