Quibi ain’t dead yet as Roku acquires global content distribution rights

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Thanks to Eskom and loadshedding making a return over the festive season, we spent a lot more time on our smartphones than we were anticipating.

But at no point did we think to ourselves, “If only this episode of Evil Genius was viewable in portrait mode”.

We seemingly aren’t alone in never having had that thought as 2020 saw the rise and nearly immediate fall of Quibi.

The streaming platform let viewers switch between portrait and landscape viewing on their smartphone with the content adapting to the orientation of the device. It was a clever idea that never really took off.

And now it seems as if it never will take off as Roku has announced an acquisition of all of Quibi’s content.

“Today’s announcement marks a rare opportunity to acquire compelling new original programming that features some of the biggest names in entertainment. We’re excited to make this content available for free to our users in The Roku Channel through an ad-supported model. We are also thrilled to welcome the incredible studios and talented individuals who brought these stories to life and showcase them to our tens of millions of viewers,” vice president of programming at Quibi, Rob Holmes, said in a press release.

Also in that press release was the mention of a dozen new programs previously destined for Quibi, are coming to the Roku Channel during the course of this year.

This acquisition is a win for Roku as while the Quibi platform might not have been a hit, the content does look compelling and it might bring more people to the Roku platform.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.