Roku will acquire the content library of the short-lived streaming service Quibi to expand its free channel, which includes commercials.
Quibi - whose name combines the words "quick" and "bite" (bite) - raised $ 1.750 billion from investors including major Hollywood companies such as Disney, NBCUniversal and Viacom, and produced shows that it launched into snacks. 10 to 12 minutes, with the idea of serving people with little time to watch videos in places like lines or transport.
However, it entered a market that was already saturated with short videos from YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms whose content is generated essentially at no cost. And it was also launched in April 2020, when the global pandemic changed the routine of millions of people who stopped moving from home to work. The service closed last month.
Roku created its business as a hub for other streaming services, but has recently started stockpiling content for its free channel, Roku Channel.
With the acquisition, Roku will have 75 assorted shows tied to big names in the industry: Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen and Lena Waithe have appeared on Quibi shows. This includes more than 12 shows that failed to air before Quibi closed. The shows are aimed at a demographic age 18-35, an attractive segment for advertisers.
Roku spokesperson Dallas Lawrence said the short form will work well for the Roku Channel, as there are "natural commercial breaks built into the schedule."
Quibi's content, created to be viewed on cell phones, can still be viewed on mobile devices through the Roku app.
Roku says its channel reached 61,8 million people in the last quarter, double from the previous year. More people are watching streaming entertainment during the pandemic because they are staying at home, but there is also more competition. New services including Discovery +, NBCUniversal's Peacock, HBOMax, and others have been launched to compete with services like Netflix and Hulu.
Roku Channel includes more than 40.000 free movies and shows, as well as 150 free linear TV channels.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed