January 8, 2021
Roku Jan. 8 announced that its ad-supported branded streaming platform, The Roku Channel, will become the exclusive home to more than 75 shows and documentaries shuttered SVOD service Quibi created in conjunction with Hollywood studios and production companies. Roku acquired the exclusive global distribution rights to the award-winning shows and will make the content available for free to all Roku users.
Following an internal restructuring by Quibi, Roku acquired Quibi Holdings, LLC, the company that holds all of Quibi’s content distribution rights. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Launched last April by DreamWorks Animation founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and eBay founder Meg Whitman, the $1.75 billion-backed service featuring short-form video no longer than 10 minutes, announced after just six months it was ceasing operations — citing in part consumer indifference.
The Quibi content includes Emmy award-winning scripted series, alternative and reality programming and documentaries featuring stars such as Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen, and Lena Waithe. In addition to the full range of titles that had previously premiered on Quibi, more than a dozen new programs will make their exclusive debut on The Roku Channel.
The Roku Channel is the AVOD home for free and premium news and entertainment and in Q4 2020 reached U.S. households with an estimated 61.8 million people. The Roku Channel experienced rapid growth in Q4 2020 doubling household reach year over year and was a top 10 channel in both streaming hours and active accounts.
The transaction aims to deliver a distinctive array of premium content geared towards the highly coveted 18-35 age demographic, further building out The Roku Channel’s lineup of more than 40,000 free movies and programs and 150 free live linear TV channels.
“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,” Rob Holmes, VP of programming at Roku, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement marks a rare opportunity to acquire compelling new original programming that features some of the biggest names in entertainment.”
“Quibi championed some of the most original ideas and inventive storytelling, and I’m so proud of what I was able to create for the platform,” said Veena Sud, creator, writer, director and executive producer of the series “The Stranger.”