Quibi’s content is officially heading to Roku.
It feels like either a month or roughly 100 years since we found out that the short-lived streaming experiment from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman crashed and burned roughly six short months after its rocky launch. But Quibi had managed to churn out a significant amount of original content prior to and after its rollout — content with big, splashy Hollywood names and studios attached. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Roku was in talks to snap up all that content for the Roku Channel. Now, it’s official.
Roku announced today that the Roku Channel will become the exclusive home to 75+ series and documentaries produced by Quibi, which the company told Gizmodo amounts to more than 200 hours of programming. Roku said that in addition to titles that previously lived on the Quibi platform, more than a dozen new Quibi joints will debut on the Roku Channel for the first time. In acquiring Quibi’s library, Roku evidently also brought Quibi’s Twitter ghost back from the grave:
YOU HAVE AWAKENED ME FROM MY SLUMBER! https://t.co/GD99MlkCzj
— The Roku Channel (@TheRokuChannel) January 8, 2021
While the content will be free to stream for Roku users, it will be ad-supported. Before its untimely death, Quibi featured both free and ad-free models, but it makes sense that Roku would want to make back some of what it’s spending on the content haul (though that figure was not disclosed). While the company did not specify which titles that previously lived on the Quibi platform would be getting a second life on the Roku Channel, the company said talent included Anna Kendrick, Chrissy Teigen, and Liam Hemsworth, among others.
It’s certainly possible that Quibi’s library could find success on the Roku Channel without all the fussy Turnstyle technology nonsense and forced mobile viewing. One of Quibi’s biggest problems was always that it was a video service made for on-the-go viewing, which frankly nobody was doing much when Quibi launched amid a pandemic. Roku says it has reached 61.8 million people on its platform, and with very little new content debuting right now, Quibi’s catalogue may offer something new for folks spending more time in front of their TVs than they would be normally.
It’s not clear exactly when the Quibi roster will hit the Roku Channel, but the company said it will be sometime in 2021.