6 JAN 2021

ROKU CONSIDERS ACQUIRING QUIBI'S SHORT-FORM CONTENT LIBRARY

The deal, close to its completion, could give the Roku Channel exclusive access to Quibi’s slate of programming. The price has not been disclosed.

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Roku announced that it is in advanced discussions with Quibi as it considers obtaining rights to its content library. The report doesn’t indicate a potential price for the acquisition and notes that the two parties may not finalize the deal. The settlement could give the Roku Channel exclusive access to Quibi’s slate of programming. The agreement is close to completion.

The service was launched by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, who raised more than USD 1.75 billion from major Hollywood studios and other investors, Quibi was a quixotic attempt to capitalize on the streaming boom. Its shows, chopped into installments no longer than 10 minutes, were intended to be viewed on smartphones. Quibi does not own any of the content it commissioned for the subscription service. and instead secured seven-year licenses for the short-form series, giving it rights to stream them on its app. After two years, content owners have the right to distribute the shows in a reassembled feature-length format on other platforms. Roku has claimed 46 million accounts to lift its media business.

As of the third quarter of 2020, Quibi reached 710,000 subscriber households, down from 1.1 million the prior quarter, according to estimates from research firm Kantar. The service had cost USD 4.99 with ads and USD 7.99 without ads per month and amid fierce competition in the streaming space, Quibi couldn’t attract enough paying subs for the mobile-centric app. The streaming app was shut down on 1st Dec. less than eight months after launching. Katzenberg had already tried to get companies including Facebook and NBCUniversal to pick up Quibi programming ahead of its demise. 

Shows in Quibi’s portfolio include “Reno 911,” dystopian thriller “Most Dangerous Game,” starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz; the dark comedy “Flipped” with Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson, the plane-crash drama “Survive,” and comedy “Dummy." In addition, Quibi was paying for news and lifestyle content from partners including NBC News, BBC News, ESPN, Blumhouse, the Weather Channel, and CBS.

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