After launching earlier this year, the short-form streaming service Quibi shut down after just six months on the market. However, all the original programming created for the on-the-go entertainment hub is about to get a new home.
Roku, the most popular streaming media player in the United States, is trying to build their library of content by entering advanced talks to become the exclusive home for Quibi’s offerings. All of Quibi’s movies and shows would be available to stream through the Roku Channel, helping the streaming beef up their content with a collection of original programming not available anywhere else.
The Wall Street Journal has news of Roku buying Quibi shows and movies for their own streaming library. Though no financial details have been revealed and a deal has not yet been finalized, talks have indicated that Roku is keen on building their library of content to help bolster their place in the streaming market.
Quibi launched back in April, and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg hoped it would become a key player in entertainment with an expansive library of “quick bite” shows that people could watch on-the-go in their daily lives. Unfortunately, the new service launched just as the coronavirus pandemic was keeping people from their usual daily commutes, and without an app initially available to watch programming on televisions, the service died a quick death just six months later.
Though Quibi tried to drum up more interest in their programming by finally making it available to watch outside of mobile devices, it was too little too late for a service that wasn’t grabbing anyone’s attention. But perhaps Roku getting their hands on the content will finally get more eyes on the extensive library of programming that Quibi had produced, including shows and movies with stars like Anna Kendrick, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworh, and Sophie Turner.
At this time, it’s not clear if Quibi’s content would still be distributed in bite-sized episodes that were typically around 10 minutes or less or if they will be repackaged in a more traditional TV and movie format. The latter would probably be preferable to make the programming seem fresh rather than being imported from Quibi, but perhaps the format doesn’t make that easy to accomplish.
Reporting on the deal doesn’t mention whether this would include programming that was completed and waiting in the wings to premiere of Quibi. The streaming service had plenty of shows that were still in the works and waiting to debut, so there’s a chance those shows could actually see the light of day through Roku. There were also tons of projects in development from filmmakers such as Guillermo del Toro and Steven Spielberg, but we’re betting those are probably dead in the water unless Roku decides to start spending money on their development. That may not even be possible depending on how Quibi’s contracts with their creators were written.
At the very least, this will give Quibi programming a new place to thrive, and maybe it will result in some of them getting new life as long as someone is willing to pay for them. We’ll just have to wait and see how this deal pans out. In the meantime, if you need a reminder of all the stuff that Quibi had available, you can check out our ranking of some of their launch programming right here.
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