Following reports earlier this week that “advanced talks” were taking place, Roku has announced that it has acquired Quibi’s library of short-form shows only three months after the mobile-first streaming service was forced to shut down.
The deal sees Roku secure rights to more than 75 of Quibi’s shows and, according to Roku, they will be available to stream on the free, ad-supported Roku Channel later this year in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
In addition to the shows that had already been released by Quibi, there will also be around a dozen which weren’t shown before the service shut down making their debut with Roku. According to Variety, these new shows will include Stephen Spielberg’s horror series Spielberg After Dark.
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Roku will be taking up Quibi’s existing seven-year licensing rights to the shows, which includes exclusive access to the content for two years.
Set up as a mobile-first streaming service by Jeffrey Katzenberg in April 2020, Quibi’s focus was on offering short-form content geared towards mobile viewers low on time. In its short lifetime, the service actually attracted some big names like Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick and Idris Elba and even got some Emmy nominations. However, it wasn’t able to bring in the numbers it needed and its shutdown was announced in October 2020 before the app stopped functioning entirely in December.
More than mobile
Quibi’s content may have been created with mobile in mind but Roku’s Rob Holmes has noted that it will soon be available “wherever you can watch The Roku Channel” which can be accessed on Roku devices, the Roku mobile app and on the web.
In a statement (via Variety) Jeffrey Katzenberg said of the deal: “The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations. We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on the Roku Channel.”
Roku hasn't given an exact date for bringing this new content to The Roku Channel but has advised to “stay tuned” to the Roku blog for more details in the future.
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