Quibi's Shows Gain New Life as Roku Acquires its Library
A slew of Quibi shows has found new life in Roku.
Roku will acquire the library of the short-lived Hollywood company founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and has said it will stream its content with ads for free on its Roku Channel. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although it has been widely reported that the final number came in below $100 million – a far cry from the $1.75 billion that Quibi raised.
"The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations," Katzenberg said in a statement. "We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on The Roku Channel."
The deal will encompass virtually all of Quibi's library, minus some of their daily news clips, according to Roku spokesperson Dallas Lawrence.
Although Quibi was widely lampooned even well before its spectacular flameout culminated in its dissolution only seven months after launch, it did have some critically acclaimed shows. The police parody revival of "Reno 911" and human-hunt thriller "Most Dangerous Game" were both nominated for best short form comedy or drama series. Jasmine Cephas Jones and Laurence Fishburne each won Emmys for their performances in #FreeRayshawn. That show was produced by Antoine Fuqua, one of several high-profile names attached to Quibi shows.
Roku's primary function has largely been as a hardware provider for streaming apps like Netflix. But this acquisition of over 75 shows and documentaries that it owns exclusively could reposition the company as a more powerful player.
Roku is the most popular streaming-media player in the U.S. by hours streamed, ahead of competitors such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. The platform reaches homes with over 120 million people, said Lawrence. In November, the company reported 46 million active users and gross profit of $215 million, up 81% year over year.
Shares of Roku were up more than 5% in morning trading.
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