Quibi content will live on at Roku

The streaming platform will integrate 75 Quibi shows into its free, ad-supported Roku Channel
The logo of streaming service Quibi. (Logo: Quibi/Graphic: The Desk)

News of Quibi’s complete and total death may have been slightly exaggerated.

A small part of the streaming service — it’s content library — will live on at the Roku Channel after the streaming hardware manufacturer agreed to acquire the worldwide rights to the defunct streaming TV service’s short-form programs this week.

The news was first reported earlier in the week by the Wall Street Journal and was made official in a press release on Friday.

“The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations,” Jeffrey Katzenberg, Quibi’s co-founder, said in the release. “We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on the Roku Channel.”

Quibi charged users around $5 a month to access its library of minutes-long shows via smartphone apps, but the shows will be offered to viewers of the Roku Channel for free, the company affirmed on Friday.

The Roku Channel is available natively on Roku‘s line of streaming set-top boxes, streaming TV sticks and Roku TV line of Internet-connected TV sets built by TCL, Element, Hisense and other manufacturers. It is also available within the Roku apps for Apple’s iOS and Android phones and tablets, and is distributed on competing streaming TV platform Amazon Fire TV.

“The Roku Channel is one of the largest and fastest growing channels on our platform today and we are consistently expanding the breadth and quality of our free, ad-supported content for our users,” Rob Holmes, an executive in charge of programming at Roku, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement marks a rare opportunity to acquire compelling new original programming that features some of the biggest names in entertainment.”

Quibi launched to much fanfare in April 2020 after securing hundreds of millions of dollars in financial investments. But the hype was short lived as viewers chose to watch more-compelling, long-form content on Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services while stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, which began a month earlier and saw emergency lockdown and stay-at-home orders throughout the country.

Executives at Quibi announced the streaming service’s closure in late October. Streaming apps were officially retired in early December.

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