Mobile-first short-form video streaming start-up Quibi reportedly planned to add new features to address sluggish consumer interest apparently caused by Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Founder and chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg (pictured) told The New York Times the pandemic had impacted download numbers, but expressed hope the new features will boost uptake.

These include plans to allow Quibi content to be shared on social media platforms, due in the near future, with a plan to enable iPhone users to watch programmes on a TV tipped to be activated this week, albeit this appears to be part of a strategy unveiled by CEO Meg Whitman last month.

Analytics company Sensor Tower estimated Quibi was downloaded 2.9 million times from the App Store and Google Play in its first month since launching in North America on 6 April. Quibi placed the figure closer to 3.5 million, with 1.3 million active users.

Katzenberg expressed disappointment with the download numbers, telling NYT lockdowns had slowed growth. The newspaper explained the app is designed to be used when people are out and about, offering short-form video and news content of up to ten minutes.

The executive’s implication, therefore, seems to be this key selling point had been eradicated by people being confined to their homes.

But the company hit trouble before it even launched, with video specialist Eko accusing it of patent infringement regarding a feature enabling automatic shifts between landscape and portrait mode when viewing content.