Roku in Talks to Acquire Quibi Library (Report)

Potential deal would give device maker a roster of exclusive content, according to Wall Street Journal

Christoph Waltz and Aaron Poole in "Most Dangerous Game"
Christoph Waltz and Aaron Poole in "Most Dangerous Game" (Quibi)

Quibi content could be getting a second life on Roku. The streaming device maker is closing in on a deal for the content library from the defunct streaming service, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ, citing people familiar with the matter, said a deal is not done and could still fall apart. Roku would acquire Quibi’s shows to offer them exclusively to its customers. Quibi shut down after only seven months.

Representatives for both Roku and Quibi declined to comment.

The addition of Quibi’s content, which are each no longer than 10 minutes in length, would help Roku bolster its own ad-supported app, The Roku Channel. Quibi’s library would mark its first exclusive programming deal.

Quibi, led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, debuted in April but failed to gain any kind of foothold with customers. It shut down in December. Unlike the other streaming services, Quibi offered short-form series and movies split up into “quick bites” that were designed to be viewed on mobile devices.

Quibi’s deals with its content producers were atypical of other platforms, in that the creators owned their stuff. Quibi’s deals allowed for the service to feature those shows on its service for seven years. The WSJ, citing people familiar with the discussions, added that some of the contracts stipulate that the content cannot air on other platforms. However, an individual familiar with Roku’s stance argued that it would not prevent Roku from being able to stream the content, the report added.

Roku content includes series like Anna Kendrick’s “Dummy,” “Most Dangerous Game” starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz, as well as Antoine Fuqua’s “#FreeRayshawn,” which scored a pair of Emmy wins.


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