Quibi Content Reportedly To Be Acquired By Roku
Despite the global coronavirus pandemic being generally good to streaming services, Quibi was one of the services that failed to get any traction and had to sell itself. Now it appears device producer Roku is set to buy content from the failed service.
Variety reports that multiple original shows from the streaming service may find their way onto the Roku Channel, which is free to use and supported by ads. The publication characterized the talks between Roku and Quibi as being in the “advanced” stage.
While neither company commented on the rumored sale, Roku stands to gain a lot of content created by top-tier Hollywood names. Some of the stars that have made content for Quibi include Steven Spielberg, Steven Soderbergh, Guillermo del Toro, Lena Waithe, and Reese Witherspoon.
The service also won two Emmy Awards for #FreeRayshawn, a police drama produced by Antoine Fuqua. Short-form acting Emmy Awards were given to Laurence Fishburne and Jasmine Cephas Jones for their performances in the drama.
According to Barrons, Quibi content heading to Roku devices will be a win for Roku. The outlet quoted KeyBanc Capital Markets equity research analyst Justin Patterson saying that this is the “logical” step for Roku.
Patterson pointed out that exclusive content is becoming more important as streaming services compete for subscribers during the global coronavirus pandemic. Should these Quibi exclusives succeed for Roku, it could mean more subscribers and more revenue for the company.
Reports of Quibi being sold first emerged in September. Despite the A-list talent creating content for Quibi and big-name investors like Viacom, ITV, WarnerMedia, Disney, MGM, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, and NBCUniversal, the service was unable to increase its subscriber base.
There were only 4.5 million downloads of Quibi during the lockdowns brought about by the global coronavirus pandemic, with 1.6 million subscribing. Apps like TikTok and Snapchat performed better than Quibi during the pandemic, despite not having numerous celebrities connected to them.
Aside from low downloads and low subscriber count, Quibi also had to grapple with a legal case filed by online platform Eko. The company alleged that the Turnstyle interface that powers Quibi came from technology that was stolen from them.
Roku getting more content will probably help it compete this year as the still ongoing global coronavirus pandemic might result in even more people signing up for streaming services. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s update for Jan. 4, there are now 20,558,489 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States. The number of people that have died from COVID-19 is now at 350,664.