Roku has announced that it has aquired the rights to Quibi’s library of content. Quibi shut down last month despite spending millions on original content featuring well known stars. Quibi’s content will appear on the Roku Channel, which recently arrived on Fire TV devices, for free with ads later this year.
Roku says 75 shows and documentaries made by Quibi will be exclusively available on the Roku Channel. While Quibi’s short-form content was originally designed to be consumed on mobile devices through 10-minute episodes, it did eventually make it to TVs via native apps. Roku will be presenting the content in its original form and will not combine episodes into more traditional lengths.
I wonder how much Roku paid for a bankrupt platform? I can’t see this being much of a draw for Roku subscribers, it’s like watching the final season of a show you know has been cancelled, the thrill is gone. Consumers are like hungry animals, they need to know they’re going to be continually fed. Before a show’s current season is over we are already screaming for next season. Since this platform is dead it’s kind of ho-hum…
Reports are that Roku paid less than $100 Million for rights to about 75 shows that Quibi raised $1.74 Billion to produce. $350 Million of that money will be returned to investors.
Wasn’t Quibi unique in that the content creator retained rights to their content and Quibi just had rights to use the content for some limited number of months or years?
“Following an internal restructuring by Quibi, Roku acquired Quibi Holdings, LLC, the company that holds all of Quibi’s content distribution rights. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.”
Clearly Roku did not acquire the Quibi ‘platform’, merely the content rights. I expect this deal is more about fulfilling contractual obligations to the content creators and tying up those loose ends than whatever cash they can generate for the bankruptcy proceedings.
Roku deal also includes picking up Quibi’s 7-year licensing rights to the shows.
I would also suspect that Roku is hoping to leverage this content and the corresponding talent relationships into future ‘Roku Original’ projects. For less than $100 Million, probably not a bad investment / gamble.