Roku has officially bought the exclusive global streaming rights to Quibi‘s bite-sized portfolio. That includes the dozens of TV shows starring the likes of Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, and Anna Kendrick, and developed by filmmakers such as Guillermo del Toro and Steven Spielberg. Dozens!
Deadline reports that Roku has finalized its acquisition of the exclusive global distribution rights to Quibi’s library, one month after Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s mobile-only streaming venture shuttered. The programming, which includes titles like Most Dangerous Game, Dummy and Murder House Flip, will be available for free on the streaming media player starting later this year, with advertising. It will be housed on the Roku Channel, where it will be offered in longer (more traditional TV-length) segments than the failed streaming platform’s “bite-sized” runtimes of seven to 10 minutes.
“It’s the same availability of content, the same presentation of content,” Roku VP of Programming Rob Holmes told Deadline. “But as we spent a bunch of time with it, it really works, but they’re just TV episodes. I think their premise was, you have 10 minutes, you would watch it. Our view is, this is TV, someone’s going to spend half an hour or an hour or two hours watching it because it’s just that compelling.”
The news of the deal comes just a few days after Roku was reported to be interested in buying Quibi’s library, but not the streaming platform’s infrastructure and technology, such as its Turnstyle interface. While it wasn’t disclosed how much Roku paid for the rights to Quibi’s content portfolio it likely won’t offset the $1.75 billion that Katzenberg and Meg Whitman put into the project to get it started, nor the half a billion dollars the service reportedly lost.
But as ill-advised as Quibi’s mobile-only streaming approach may have been, at least the TV shows and films that were developed for it won’t be lost to the ether. While many of the titles earned mixed reviews, #FreeRayshawn was able to score two Emmys. And many more viewers will be able to check out those titles for themselves, as Roku maintains its spot as one of the most-used streaming media player in the U.S. — recently announcing that its Roku TV line was the top-selling smart TV OS in the US and Canada throughout all of 2020.
Roku plans to expand its content offerings on the Roku Channel even further, according to Holmes, with more deals like the Quibi purchase likely down the road.
“We are consistently expanding the breadth and quality of our free, ad-supported content for our users,” Holmes said.
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