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The Roku Channel to Debut Its First Original Series, And It’s Not From Quibi

Jeff Kotuby

Roku confirms the old adage of, “never say never” by announcing today its first original series on The Roku Channel — “Cypher.”

Back in 2019, Roku said it had “no plans” to bring original content to The Roku Channel, its free, ad-supported live streaming channel. Two years and a leaked job posting later, we finally have our first taste of original, non-Quibi, Roku content.

Earlier this year, Roku acquired Quibi’s entire library of content, including more than a dozen new programs that will make their debut on The Roku Channel. However, Cypher doesn’t fall under this banner and is the first of what we expect will be many The Roku Channel exclusives.

The Roku Channel grew exponentially over 2020, growing nearly twice as fast as the overall platform and now reaching 63 million people (up 100% year-over-year). In 2020, the company expanded the platform to be available on Amazon Fire TV, iOS, and Android devices. On the Q4 2020 shareholder, Roku CEO Anthony Wood said The Roku Channel’s success in the AVOD space, “opens up the ability for us to pursue deals like Quibi.” Just over six months after launching, Quibi shut down in December after raising close to $2B in investment.

Cypher stars Martin Dingle Wall, Brian Krause, and John Reardon, and tells the story of FBI cryptanalyst Will Scott, who discovers a coded hitlist. Will navigates the murky waters of loyalty & betrayal amongst an underground ring of hackers, hit men & FBI agents — all as the clock ticks in pursuit of the latest targets. The 7-episode series streams exclusively on The Roku Channel in the U.S. and Canada starting March 19.

The Roku Channel is available on any Roku streaming device, compatible Samsung Smart TV, compatible Fire TV device, or The Roku Channel app on iOS and Android.

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