Quibi famously launched and died last year. After spending over a billion on its first year of content, it went belly up. But Quibi has surprisingly found a buyer for its content, and that is Roku.
Roku has acquired the entire Quibi library of content. Which will all appear on the free Roku Channel at some point in 2021. Neither company announced when that would happen, other than at some pint this year. Roku also did not disclose how much it paid for the content. But according to The Wall Street Journal, Roku paid "significantly less" than $100 million for these shows. That's a big loss for Quibi, after spending $1 billion on them.
Quibi launched at probably the worst time imaginable. Not because it was a streaming service – we've seen HBO MAX, Peacock and discovery+ all launch recently with decent success. But because it was a mobile-first streaming service. With content being shot in portrait mode, and in short form. All episodes were ten minutes or less. And it launched at a time when everyone was stuck at home during the pandemic.
Why did Roku buy Quibi's content?
The big question here is why? Why did Roku buy Quibi's content library? And then agree to offer it all for free.
It's pretty simple actually. Roku has been trying to use its Roku Channel as a differentiator towards its competitors. To get people to use Roku over Android TV, Fire TV or even Apple TV. And by adding even more content to the Roku Channel, you're going to have more of a reason to watch it.
That is going to increase watch time on The Roku Channel, and also increase the amount of ad inventory that Roku can sell. Which is going to help out Roku. Since it basically sells all of its hardware at cost, or at a lost. And it gives Roku some original content, sort of.
Now the real question is if Roku will continue production on all of these Quibi shows. As the library is quite start studded. With actors like Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen, Lena Waithe, and many others.