Roku said on Friday that it had agreed to buy the rights to a content library originally created for Quibi, the overhyped short-form start-up that went belly up just six months after launch.
Quibi’s content library has about 75 shows and documentaries, which will appear for free on the Roku Channel throughout 2021. The deal gives Roku the rights to stream the content only for seven years, after which ownership reverts back to the producers of each show.
Roku did not disclose the price of the transaction, but a person familiar with the details said it was under $100 million.
Started by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, Quibi raised more than $1.75 billion from major Hollywood studios and other investors. The service was a quixotic attempt to capitalize on the streaming boom.
Its shows, chopped into installments no longer than 10 minutes, were meant to be watched on smartphones. But the pandemic dampened the appeal for that kind of viewing as people stayed home.
MacDailyNews Take: If Quibi’s content library were compelling, it wouldn’t be subject to fire sale eight months after launch.
As we wrote last June, “So, why is the coronavirus to blame? …If your video service couldn’t build an audience from a millions of cooped up people hungry for something, anything, to pass the time, perhaps it wasn’t that compelling in the first place.”