Roku and Quibi in Advanced Talks About Content



Roku May Gain Access to Quibi’s Content Library

Quibi, the short-lived video streaming service, is in advanced talks with Roku Inc (ROKU) to sell its content catalog. The companies have discussed granting Roku the exclusive rights to Quibi’s library. Financial terms of the deal have not been shared publicly.

When building its library, Quibi made deals with content producers to host their shows on its platform for seven years. While some of those contracts do not allow content to be aired on other platforms, people familiar with the talks said Roku will likely still be able to make Quibi content available on its services.

A Quick Review

Quibi launched in April 2020 with the goal of delivering short, high-budget content for users to watch on their smartphones during commutes and other short intervals of time. But due to the pandemic, heavy competition, and other factors, the service did not meet its user number goals. The platform shut down in October despite raising $1.75 billion.

When the service stopped operating it reportedly had $750 million on hand. About $350 million of that cash will be distributed to early investors, while other money will be put toward employees’ severance packages and outstanding production costs.

Content Would Give Roku a Boost

The potential deal comes as Roku leans in to building a content library on its app, the Roku Channel, which launched in 2017. The other movies and television shows available on the Roku Channel are produced by outside companies, and some are available on other streaming services in addition to the Roku Channel. Streaming licenses for Roku Channel are often part of negotiations to make streaming apps available on Roku devices.

The deal with Quibi would give Roku sole access to high-production-value content. Industry professionals say that offering exclusive content could help the Roku Channel gain traction in a highly competitive landscape.

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