Roku secures exclusive access to Quibi content | Major Businesses | Business
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Crashing and burning in a matter of months, content from Quibi wasn’t the hit that a lot of smart money bet on, but Roku thinks different and has acquired exclusive global distribution rights to the millennial-focussed short-form premium mobile TV streaming service's award-winning shows and will make the content available for free on an ad-supported basis in 2021.
Quibi screenshot 7April2020
The deal will see the Roku Channel become the exclusive place to stream more than 75 premium shows and documentaries that Quibi created in conjunction with Hollywood’s leading studios and production companies before closing.

Founded by former Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg and ex-HP and eBay CEO Meg Whitman, Quibi aimed to tap into the growing demand for mobile video offering a range of content covering scripted and original entertainment, sports and news, and boasted what were called a number of unique user experience features. The service inked deals with the likes of NBCUniversal, and its Spanish-speaking subsidiary Telemundo, The Weather Channel and ESPN and in March 2020 Quibi closed a second round of financing worth $750 million, bringing its total investment to $1.75 billion.

Yet for all of the investment, content and technology, Quibi always seemed to be battling against over-optimism amongst its founders and never received the mass uptake that had been promised. Only just more than 300,000 mobile users installed the Quibi app on launch day of 6 April in the service’s launch markets of the US and Canada. And after six months of not taking off, the founders announced it would wind down the business and return cash to shareholders after it had found buyers for its assets.

The first of these is Roku which following an internal restructuring by the mobile video firm has acquired Quibi Holdings, LLC, the company that holds all of Quibi’s content distribution rights.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed yet what has been revealed is that Roku has bought Quibi content including Emmy award-winning scripted series, alternative and reality programming and documentaries featuring stars such as Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen, and Lena Waithe. In addition to the full range of titles that had previously premiered on Quibi, more than a dozen new programmes will make their exclusive debut on The Roku Channel which is already home for free and premium news and entertainment and in Q4 2020 reached U.S. households with an estimated 61.8 million people.

“Today’s announcement marks a rare opportunity to acquire compelling new original programming that features some of the biggest names in entertainment," commented Roku vice president of programming Rob Holmes in a blog posting explaining the deal. “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.”

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