Roku Buys Rights to Stream Quibi Content

Quibi Roku
Roku acquired the rights to stream Quibi's short-form content (Image credit: Quibi)

Roku said its Roku Channel will become the exclusive home to the content created for Quibi, the short-form mobile subscription video app that failed despite more than $1 billion investment from top media companies.

The bite-sized Quibi shows will be available free on an ad supported basis in 2021 to Roku users.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Read Also: Katzenberg Shutting Down Quibi Streaming Service

“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, VP 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.”

Read Also: Quibi Autopsy: Service Had Only 450,000 Paid Users When Katzenberg Shut It Down

Quibi, started by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, raised $1 billion to create high-profile, big-name short-form content and technology designed for mobile viewing by younger consumers. 

It launched in April with a high profile ad campaign, but drew a disappointing level of downloads and viewership.

The company blamed the pandemic, but a resistance to letting its shows be viewed on a big TV screen also contributed to its downfall.

Read Also: Roku CFO Louden: We Are Not Like A Cable Company

Quibi shut down operations in October.

“The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations,” said Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. “We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on The Roku Channel.”

Quibi content starred talent including Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen, and Lena Waithe and was created by producers including Steven Spielberg. 

Some Quibi content will be seen for the first time on the Roku Channel.

The transaction involves Roku acquiring Quibi Holding LLC, a company created when Quibi was restructured that holds Quibi’s content distribution rights.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.