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After reportedly laying off 20% of its staff amid dwindling downloads, HQ Trivia is pivoting to a subscription model this month

HQ Trivia Hosts Season 4HQ TriviaHQ Trivia

HQ Trivia has had a rough 2019. The live game show startup has struggled to recover from the loss of co-founder and CEO Colin Kroll, who died unexpectedly in December 2018.

In April, about half of HQ Trivia’s 35 employees signed a letter asking the company’s board to remove co-founder Rus Yusupov as CEO, the second time the request was made. Longtime host Scott “Quiz Daddy” Rogowsky also left HQ Trivia in April.

Now Tech Crunch reports that HQ Trivia has laid off about 20% of its staff, leaving the company with less than 30 employees. Business Insider has reached out to HQ Trivia in an attempt to confirm the layoffs.

Meanwhile, monthly downloads of the HQ Trivia app dropped by nearly 92% in June compared to 2018, based on data from the analyst group SensorTower.

Read more: Mistrust, secret memos, and boardroom drama – inside the chaos at HQ Trivia after its young cofounder’s sudden death

HQ Trivia is now gearing up to test a new subscription-based business model. A tweet from the HQ Words spin-off app said the company will introduce a new monthly subscription for HQ Words in July, which will let subscribers compete for cash prizes each day.

All of HQ Trivia’s games have been available for free since the app launched in August 2017. The app currently offers three different games, HQ Trivia, HQ Sports, and HQ Words. HQ Trivia has a minimum prize of $ 2,500 but prize pools have reached up to $ 300,000 for a single game. Winnings are typically shared between multiple users, which significantly decreases the amount of money each winner receives.

Season four of HQ Trivia launched in May, promising users more prize money and more ways to win. The new season also introduced a new lineup of hosts, with Matt Richards replacing Rogowsky as the main HQ Trivia host, Anna Roisman taking over as host of HQ Words, and Lauren Gambino as host of HQ Sports. Sharon Carpenter is also on the team as a fill-in host.

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Business Insider India

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