Roku snapped up the rights to nearly all of Quibi’s multimillion-dollar portfolio unique programming — greater than 75 reveals in all — and can make them accessible free to stream in 2021 on the Roku Channel.
Following Quibi’s choice final October to close down after failing to draw a sustainable base of subscribers, Roku acquired Quibi Holdings LLC, the corporate that holds all of Quibi’s content material distribution rights.
Monetary phrases of the pact weren’t disclosed. Roku is paying lower than $100 million for the Quibi library, the Wall Avenue Journal reported. Rob Holmes, Roku’s VP of programming, mentioned in an interview, “We do suppose this deal represents a fantastic worth.”
“Basically, we predict that Quibi has created nice, high-quality content material,” Holmes advised Selection. “It’s a fantastic worth proposition for our customers… We’re pivoting from Quibi’s SVOD mannequin to an ad-supported mannequin, and such a new, unique content material shouldn’t be often accessible for free.”
Roku is acquiring unique international rights to Quibi’s scripted collection, different and actuality programming and documentaries that includes such stars as Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen and Lena Waithe.
More than a dozen Quibi reveals will debut on the Roku Channel for first time. These embody “The Now,” a suicide-themed comedy from Peter Farrelly, and “Slugfest,” a docuseries primarily based on the story of Marvel vs DC comics from the Russo brothers. One other evidently might be “Spielberg’s After Darkish,” a horror collection from Steven Spielberg (which initially was designed to be seen solely after sundown on Quibi).
For Quibi, regardless of its fast flameout, the deal will assist it recoup among the large funding it made in unique content material. It additionally will present a high-scale outlet for the reveals after the Quibi app went darkish in December: Roku mentioned it had greater than 50 million energetic accounts within the fourth quarter of 2020, and that the Roku Channel reached U.S. households with an estimated 61.8 million folks in This fall.
Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg mentioned in a ready assertion, “Probably the most inventive and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content material for Quibi that exceeded our expectations. We’re thrilled that these tales, from the surreal to the elegant, have discovered a brand new dwelling on the Roku Channel.”
The Quibi reveals coming to the free, ad-supported Roku channel embody “Reno 911,” a revival of Comedy Central’s cop spoof; dystopian thriller “Most Harmful Sport,” starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz; darkish comedy “Flipped” with Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson; plane-crash drama “Survive,” starring Sophie Turner and Corey Hawkins; comedy “Dummy,” starring Anna Kendrick as a girl who befriends her boyfriend’s intercourse doll, and “#FreeRayshawn,” a police drama from govt producer Antoine Fuqua, for which Laurence Fishburne and Jasmine Cephas Jones every received short-form appearing Emmy Awards.
Different Quibi reveals coming to Roku are “50 States of Fright” from Sam Raimi starring Rachel Brosnahan and Travis Fimmel; comedy “Agua Donkeys” from Humorous or Die; “Elba vs. Block” starring Idris Elba and stunt driver Ken Block; “Chrissy’s Courtroom,” a “Decide Judy”-style present starring Chrissy Teigen; a reboot of “Punk’d” hosted by Probability the Rapper; and money-giveaway actuality present “Thanks a Million” from Jennifer Lopez.
“Quibi championed among the most unique concepts and creative storytelling, and I’m so pleased with what I used to be capable of create for the platform,” mentioned Veena Sud, creator, author, director and govt producer of the Quibi collection “The Stranger,” a psychological thriller a few younger rideshare driver’s encounter with a passenger within the Hollywood Hills. “I’m so excited to now be capable of share this thriller with tens of millions of streamers on the Roku Channel.”
Quibi’s reveals have been produced for viewing on cell phones, however Holmes mentioned, “We expect they may play rather well on the big-screen TV.” Not included within the Roku deal are nearly all of the information and way of life applications in Quibi’s Every day Necessities lineup.
Roku is choosing up Quibi’s seven-year licensing rights to the reveals, Holmes mentioned. Underneath Quibi’s offers with producers, two years after their premiere they’ve the proper to reassemble the episodes into films for distribution on different platforms.
Roku will launch the Quibi reveals initially within the U.S., Canada and the U.Ok. (the areas the place the Roku Channel is at present accessible). Holmes didn’t specify when the content material will go stay.
The pact for the Quibi reveals will enhance engagement with the Roku Channel, Holmes mentioned. The 75-plus Quibi reveals, representing a number of hundred hours of programming, will be part of the greater than 40,000 free films and TV reveals and 150 free stay linear tv channels already accessible on the Roku Channel.
“We imagine on this broader AVOD [ad-supported video-on-demand] development,” Holmes mentioned. “At a really excessive degree, we all know that our customers have interaction in a really vital approach with free content material.” With the Quibi deal, he added, “We expect this pivot type SVOD to AVOD is admittedly compelling.”
Quibi had raised $1.75 billion from backers together with Disney, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS and Sony and reportedly advised traders that it could return $350 million of its money readily available to them. The corporate, led by Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman. spent upwards of $6 million per hour of produced content material on short-form originals. Their speculation — which didn’t materialize amid the COVID-19 pandemic — was that millennials would pay $5-$8 monthly to look at dear programming on their smartphones.
Talks between Roku and Quibi have been reported earlier this week by the Wall Avenue Journal.
LionTree, the New York-based boutique funding financial institution and monetary advisory agency specializing within the media and telecommunications sector, acted as offered advisor to Quibi on the sale to Roku.
(Pictured above, l. to r.: Liam Hemsworth in “Most Harmful Sport”; Sophie Turner in “Survive”; Chrissy Teigen in “Chrissy’s Courtroom”; Probability the Rapper in “Punk’d”)