Why are Live Game Shows on Mobile Phones So Popular?

In a mobile-first world, it is becoming clearer that interactivity is the future of mobile video.
— Chad Stoller,
 Chief Innovation Officer, Universal McCann

Live TV delivered via mobile is on the rise. In the past year or so, we have not only seen HQ Trivia enter the space of live interactive entertainment aimed at smartphones users. A variety of similar formats has emerged, capturing the attention of millions of people around the globe. Cash Show, Joyride, Hangtime, Swag IQ, HypSports, Loco, Quidol, The Q and Out of Tune (see below) are a few of the HQ Trivia inspired apps that are now played around the world.

Out of Tune is an example of a creative spin on the live quiz format: DJs play ten songs out of tune, giving players just a few seconds to guess the correct title.

The ultimate goal is to reinvent shared experiences. Almost all of the experiences you have on your phone are kind of lonely.
— Avner Ronen,
 Producer Out Of Tune

Why Are These Live Games So Popular?

Popular to play

From a player’s point of view the answer is pretty straightorward: everybody enjoys a good round of trivia, especially in a compelling live format. What’s more: these apps often give away free cash, an excellent incentive to compete. 


Popular to make

A live game show creates a valuable and innovative touchpoint with a younger audience. From the point of view of the companies that make them, there are 2 elements at play:

Replicating the success of HQ Trivia: a new format is bound to be cloned. Companies provide trivia quizzes for their audiences in countries where HQ Trivia isn’t available, or when the US centered questions are not relevant.

Using HQ Trivia as an inspiration to build a new kind of low latency-powered app. The format, where a host talks directly to the players in a Facetime or Whatsapp-like setting, is simply great for audience engagement. Using different game mechanics, brands are bringing exciting new games to the table.

Audience Engagement Is The New Black

Connecting with and engaging audiences, especially younger ones, has become the holy grail in these times of numerous distractions. When you engage your audience, you captivate them, they get involved, and a meaningful relation is established. In today’s attention economy, you simply can’t count on traditional tactics like number of views to create impact anymore.

Getting eyeballs isn’t enough: people become numb to the information overload and most messages don’t stick.

What audiences do remember, is when the communication goes both ways: live interactivity boosts engagement.

Looking to make, manage and livestream a gameshow delivered via mobile? Request a Zender demo, no strings attached.

Hendrik Dacquin