Roku acquires the rights to Quibi’s content catalogue

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Roku announced that it has acquired the rights to Quibi’s streaming library. Quibi announced in October that it was shutting down after about six months of operation. Roku plans to bring Quibi’s content to the Roku Channel, where viewers will be able to watch it for free, supported by ads. Roku shares ticked higher after the announcement, climbing by about 5%.

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Roku rescues Quibi’s content

Roku and Quibi did not reveal how much the deal was worth, but a source told The Wall Street Journal that Roku paid “significantly less” than $100 million to acquire the rights to the shows. The streaming hardware company receives exclusive global distribution rights to Quibi’s content.

The content consists of over 75 shows and documentaries, including some that have not aired yet. The Journal reported earlier this week that the two companies were negotiating a deal. Although Quibi failed less than a year after it started, its content boasts many big stars, including Chrissy Teigen, Idris Elba, Nicole Richie, Lena Waithe, Anna Kendrick, Liam Hemsworth, Kevin Hart and more.

Among Quibi’s popular and Emmy-nominated shows are Chrissy’s Court, Punk’d, Most Dangerous Game, Reno 911!, Dummy, Die Hart, Survive and #FreeRayshawn. Much of the streaming company’s content is short-form and quick bites.

Details on the deal

When it becomes available on The Roku Channel, it will add hundreds of hours of new content to the platform. The shows will be exclusive to Roku for the amount of time left on Quibi’s two-year exclusivity window with their creators. After the window closes, Roku will still be able to stream the content until 2027. The company will have to stream the shows in their original form rather than linking multiple short episodes together to create content that’s a more standard length.

Roku has not announced when Quibi’s content will become available on The Roku Channel, although it will be some time this year. The company said it is “getting everything prepped” and will share more details on the Roku blog after it is ready to share them.

Quibi shut down after several factors that led to its failure. Meanwhile, Roku has especially benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has kept more people home with plenty of time to watch TV and streamed content. Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg blamed the pandemic, saying he had expected easier adoption by consumers. The app was initially designed for younger people who wanted to watch content while on the go, but people stayed home due to the pandemic instead.

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