Roku to Release More Shows From Quibi to Boost Streaming Channel
(Bloomberg) -- Roku Inc., the maker of video-streaming devices, will release 23 more shows originally made for Quibi, the failed short-video startup, to attract viewers and advertisers to its free channel.
The first batch of 30 Quibi programs, released in May, sparked used to double the time they spent streaming the Roku Channel in the second quarter versus a year earlier, the company said Monday. In January, Roku bought the rights to dozens of programs from Quibi Holdings LLC, the startup founded by film mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg.
The next batch of titles arrives on the Roku Channel on Aug. 13. Most already aired on Quibi, but four are all new, including “Squeaky Clean,” a cleaning competition, and “Eye Candy,” where contestants try to identify food designed to look like ordinary objects.
Roku acquired the rights to more than 75 shows from Quibi and plans to release more in the future. It recently renewed “Die Hart,” an action-comedy series starring Kevin Hart, for a second season.
Roku is using original programming to drive viewers to the Roku Channel, a free ad-supported outlet. Launched four years ago, the Roku Channel has thousands of free movies and dozens of live feeds. It’s a key part of the company’s effort to build a business selling ads through the apps on its platform.
Like other streaming services, the Roku Channel will try to counter a potential slowdown in streaming as people get vaccinated and go outside more. Roku said last week that streaming hours for apps on its platform slumped 5% in the second quarter from the first quarter.
Colin Davis, head of scripted programming for the Roku Channel, said future investment would depend on the growth of its audience and advertising.
A free, ad-supported service like the Roku Channel doesn’t need to compete with deep-pocketed streaming services that are shelling out billions of dollars for high-profile shows and movies, he said.
“The types of content we need are different,” Davis said. “We don’t need to have a marquee show every few weeks to justify a subscription price.”
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