Roku to Launch ‘Roku Originals’ and Re-branded Quibi Content
Quibi, after being shopped around extensively by founder Jeffery Katzenberg, was purchased by Roku earlier this year. The company is hoping to salvage the promising content that was expected to appear on the short form streaming video provider. Quibi launched at the onset of the pandemic, which combined with some legal issues to scuttle the service shortly after its debut.
The programming will be available to stream for free on the Roku Channel and “Roku Originals” will also be the banner under which future original Roku shows will be presented. “Roku Originals” will join an already diverse library of over 40,000 free movies and programs as well as Roku’s free live linear television channels.
Over 75 “Roku Originals” are scheduled for debut on the Roku Channel this coming year. The roster is to include upcoming unreleased and unannounced programming and Roku is promising “bold, fresh entertainment from the biggest names in Hollywood.”
Sweta Patel, Vice President of Engagement Growth Marketing, at Roku, states “we’re thrilled to introduce this award-winning and diverse portfolio of entertainment under the Roku Originals brand – it’s relevant, fun and thought-provoking TV that has something for everyone from the best talent in Hollywood, including Anna Kendrick, Chrissy Teigen, Lena Waithe, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, and Liam Hemsworth. The Roku Channel is the place for incredible, free programming and we are excited to bring this premium content to the biggest screen in the home.”
Roku, like many of its competitors, experienced booming growth last year as the pandemic kept viewers stuck at home and in search of escapism. The Roku Channel, in the last quarter of 2020, reached 63 million people in the U.S. which was more than a 100% increase compared to the previous year.
Time will tell if Roku’s new, aggressively affordable 4K hardware offerings and promises of great new programming allow it to continue its upward momentum while others struggle to keep the numbers coming in. In spite of its optimism after absolutely dominating the domestic market last year, Netflix just posted its worst first quarter since 2013. Even for the heaviest of hitters, there are no guarantees when it comes to the streaming market.