It’s like the ancient proverb says: In the land with no original programming, the woman with the one golden arm is queen. Or something. Today, Roku announced that the library of original shortform programming from the failed sociological experiment known as Quibi will be rebranded as “Roku Originals” and relaunched on The Roku Channel for viewers in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada. More than 75 “Roku Originals, including a dozen unreleased series,” will debut on The Roku Channel later this year.
“We’re thrilled to introduce this award-winning and diverse portfolio of entertainment under the Roku Originals brand — it’s relevant, fun, and thought-provoking TV that has something for everyone from the best talent in Hollywood, including Anna Kendrick, Chrissy Teigen, Lena Waithe, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, and Liam Hemsworth,” said Roku VP of engagement growth marketing Sweta Patel in a statement. “The Roku Channel is the place for incredible, free programming and we are excited to bring this premium content to the biggest screen in the home.”
This statement highlights the two biggest departures in this Quibi-to-Roku pipeline. Notably, one of the impediments to Quibi’s success was that it charged money to subscribe, whereas The Roku Channel is free and ad-supported. Furthermore, where Quibi’s content was designed explicitly for mobile viewing, these will be available on Roku’s television devices, “the biggest screen in the home.” They’re ditching Quibi’s rotating-screen tech, though. That wouldn’t end well on home TVs.