SAN JOSE, Calif.—Roku has brought Quibi back from the dead, in a manner, as the streaming device company has announced that it has acquired the exclusive global distribution rights to more than 75 Quibi shows and documentaries, making the content available for free on an ad-supported basis to all Roku users.
Officially, Roku acquired Quibi Holdings LLC, the company that held all of Quibi’s content distribution rights. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Quibi was the mobile-focused streaming service launched by Jeffrey Katzenberg in the spring of 2020. It featured series with 10-minute episodes that were designed to be consumed on people’s phones while they were on the go. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing stay-at-home orders starting in March 2020, Quibi’s mobile strategy became moot. Despite efforts to pivot, Quibi announced in October 2020 that it would shut down.
Quibi did not skimp on its content however, spending millions on series that starred the likes of Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Anna Kendrick, Sophie Turner, Liam Hemsworth and more. Quibi also earned a pair of Creative Arts Emmys for its show “#FreeRayshawn.”
The Roku Channel will be the new home of all of the shows that had premiered on Quibi, as well as more than a dozen new programs that will have their exclusive debut on The Roku Channel.
As the number of streaming options continues to grow, Roku has been putting a greater focus on The Roku Channel, which offers free and premium news and entertainment content. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Roku says that The Roku Channel was a top 10 channel in both streaming hours and active accounts.
“The Roku Channel is one of the largest and fastest growing channels on our platform today and we are consistently expanding the breadth and quality of our free, ad-supported content for our users,” said Rob Holmes, ice president of Programming at Roku. “Today’s announcement marks a rare opportunity to acquire compelling new original programming that features some of the biggest names in entertainment. We’re excited to make this content available for free to our users in The Roku Channel through an ad-supported model. We are also thrilled to welcome the incredible studios and talented individuals who brought these stories to life and showcase them to our tens of millions of viewers.”
Roku is looking to continue its growth as one of the most popular streaming platforms. This includes it becoming the top selling Smart TV OS in North America in 2020.
No word was given as to when Quibi content will premiere on The Roku Channel.
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