Quibi, which was originally created to stream original, bite-sized video shorts on mobile devices, started to make its content available on TVs a few months after it debuted in April of last year, using apps from Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. But even that, paired with a library of original shows featuring A-list celebrities, couldn’t save the service from a death spiral during COVID-19.
Roku, on the other hand, has done gangbusters during the pandemic. According to Rob Holmes, Vice President of Programming at Roku, “The Roku Channel is the home for free and premium news and entertainment and in Q4 2020 reached U.S. households with an estimated 61.8 million people. The Roku Channel experienced rapid growth in Q4 2020 doubling household reach year over year and was a top 10 channel in both streaming hours and active accounts.”
The Quibi content acquired includes Emmy award-winning scripted series, alternative and reality programming and documentaries featuring stars like Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen, and Lena Waithe. But most interestingly, Roku also plans to debut more than a dozen brand new programs throughout the year.