Viral Quiz-Show App HQ Trivia Looks to Cash In

Created by the founders of Vine, the app uses instant cash prizes to draw attention.

November 24, 2017 11:54 am
HQ Trivia founders
HQ Trivia founders Rus Yusupov (L) and Colin Kroll attend the Variety Breakthrough of the Year Awards during the 2014 International CES at The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on January 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Variety)

Question: What’s the hottest app right now? Answer: HQ Trivia, a live game-show experience that lets players compete for free and awards cash prizes if they answer all 12 multiple-choice questions correctly during 15-minute shows at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST on weekdays and 9 p.m. EST on the weekends.

Question: Will that be a recipe for success for the Intermedia Labs, the startup from Vine founders Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll? Answer: That remains to be seen.

HQ Trivia has gone viral since soft-launching in August, with the payout pool, split among all winners in a given episode, has been raised to $7,500 on Sunday’s episode. Most importantly, major outlets are taking notice, and Variety feted the app with a profile of the kind normally reserved for Hollywood heavyweights.

Yusupov told the industry that the company is not yet worried about monetizing its growing audience, but they’re “getting a ton of interest from brands and agencies who want to collaborate and do something fun.”

Not that there aren’t already bumps: There was a report Monday in the Daily Beast that Yusupov had threatened to fire the main host of HQ Trivia, New York standup comic Scott Rogowsky over speaking to the press.

HQ Trivia, available only on Apple iOS devices, already has had more than 150,000 unique installs in the U.S. since it launched.


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