The rumors were true: Roku is buying Quibi’s shows. The media platform maker has bought Quibi’s content distribution business, giving it access to Chrissy’s Court, The Golden Arm and other shows for the now defunct service. The short-form shows will be available for free (albeit ad-supported) through the Roku Channel sometime in 2021.
Roku said more details would come once it was “ready to share.” The company didn’t reveal how much it paid for Quibi’s show catalog, although we wouldn’t be surprised if it paid far less than the $1.75 billion Quibi raised ahead of its April 2020 launch.
A deal like this makes sense, at least. Roku gets access to a slew of ready-made videos featuring major stars like Rachel Brosnahan, Chrissy Teigen and Liam Hemsworth. You may not buy a Roku player or TV with Quibi in mind, but it’ll give you a reason to check out the Roku Channel — helpful while a pandemic keeps many people at home.
Quibi, meanwhile, gets to salvage some of its costs and ensure that its shows survive, even if their signature vertical viewing option won’t. Not that many viewers will necessarily mind losing the original experience. Quibi was doomed from the start when it asked you to pay $5 per month for a mobile-first service that would have been a tough sell even in normal times, let alone during a pandemic.