Quibi shows are getting a new name.
Roku announced on Wednesday that the library of short-form content it obtained from Quibi will be rebranded as Roku Originals.
“Back in January, we announced The Roku Channel would soon be home to Quibi’s library of entertainment. Today, we’re excited to share that the Quibi service we acquired earlier this year will be re-branded as ‘Roku Originals,” Sweta Patel, vice president of engagement growth marketing at Roku said in a post on Roku’s official blog.
Patel added that Roku Originals will also serve as the brand name for future original programming for The Roku Channel, which is the home of free, ad-supported entertainment on the Roku platform.
Over 75 Roku Originals, including Dummy (Anna Kendrick), Chrissy’s Court (Chrissy Teigen), You Ain’t Got These (Lena Waithe), Elba vs. Block (Idris Elba), and Most Dangerous Game (Liam Hemsworth), as well as a dozen of unreleased series, will be available in the U.S. the U.K., and Canada.
The announcement makes Roku Originals the latest additions to The Roku Channel’s growing slate of content that is now comprised of over 40,000 free films and shows, and more than 165 free live linear television channels.
Patel noted that more details about Roku Originals will be revealed prior to the brand’s official launch in May.
Launched in April 2020, Quibi was a streaming platform that offered short-form programs originally intended for viewing on mobile devices. But just six months following its launch, the streamer shut down after falling short of its subscriber projections.
In an interview with The New York Times last June, co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg blamed Quibi’s rough start to the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted mass commuting and left viewers stuck at home looking for all the long-form content they could get their eyes on.
But in an appearance on CNBC last October, Katzenberg took back those comments, saying that
it’s not fair” and “was a little bit of a flippant answer at the time.”
“Other companies have faced the challenge of COVID and they’ve managed to find the path,” Katzenberg acknowledged. “I think [my co-founder] Meg [Whitman] and I believe in owning our miss, simply blaming it on COVID is not fair and not something either of us want to do.”
Last January, Roku obtained Quibi’s content library for less than $100 million. It’s not clear, however, whether Roku has plans to continue Quibi’s existing programming, whose fates have been left in “development hell” since the streamer’s shutdown.
Quibi does not own the rights to any of their programming, since its deals with the show creators allow them to retain the copyright to their content and distribute them in traditional forms after a few years.