The star-studded library of short-lived video streaming company Quibi has a new home: Roku.
The Roku Channel will soon stream more than 75 shows created by the short-form subscription service launched in April 2020 by former Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.
Quibi shuttered in October 2020, citing the coronavirus pandemic as a possible reason that consumers didn’t embrace videos consumed while on the go – since may stayed at home during shutdown orders.
The acquisition, terms of which were not released, bolsters a growing Roku Channel, which has a library of advertising-supported free TV shows and movies. The acquired Quibi content includes series and documentaries with big name stars including Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen, and Lena Waithe.
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The Quibi production “#FreeRayshawn,” won Creative Arts Emmy Awards for stars Fishburne and Jasmine Cephas Jones, in the short-form category.
Much of the the content had previously run on Quibi, but more than a dozen new programs will make their exclusive debut on The Roku Channel.
“Today’s announcement marks a rare opportunity to acquire compelling new original programming that features some of the biggest names in entertainment,” said Rob Holmes, vice president of programming at Roku, in a statement. “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.”
Quibi, which got its name from a shortened form of “Quick Bites,” initially got 1.7 million app downloads in its first week, Whitman told CNBC in April 2020. Subscribers got a 90-day free trial, then paid $4.99 monthly or $7.99 without commercials.
“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.”
Roku is the nation’s leading streaming platform with more than 51 million monthly active accounts at the end of 2020. Research firm eMarketer estimates Roku captures about 33% of U.S. internet users and 47% of connected TV users.
Roku also announced Friday that its Roku TV operating system had the largest market share, 38%, as sales of Roku TVs boomed during 2020.
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.