Quibi In Talks To Finally Be Made Available On Roku, Amazon Fire TV

It's taken a bit longer than a "quick bite" for Quibi to be made available on TV-connected platforms. The mobile-only streaming platform, which made its ill-timed debut right in the middle of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, was intended for the commuter — for phone-dependent millennials to watch on the subway or in the office bathroom stall. But when the pandemic hit, Quibi's targeted demographic found themselves stuck at home and unable to play the mobile platform's line-up of star-studded original shows on their TVs. Quibi, which apparently always planned to eventually transition to TV platforms, accelerated their plans to transition from mobile-only, fast-tracking the app's availability on TV casting devices such as Chromecast and Apple's Airplay. Now, Quibi is eyeing Roku and Amazon Fire TV next.

Variety reports that Quibi has been in talks with both Roku and Amazon about "building native apps" for their connected-TV platforms, Roku and Amazon Fire TV, respectively. Discussions with Amazon have "recently picked back up," Variety reports, while Quibi's talks with Roku are still in very early stages, with Roku apparently on the fence about the revenue-sharing agreement proposed by Quibi.

Making Quibi available to watch on TV was always part of the plan, according to CEO Meg Whitman, but the pandemic has clearly accelerated those plans as the service's original billing as the "on-the-go" streaming app wasn't going to happen. Quibi added support for Apple's Airplay in late May, while Google's Chromecast and Chromecast-integrated TVs were supported with an app update in early June.

The company founded by Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg is in dire need of a subscriber boost that those TV casting devices could afford them — a disappointing launch with a slate of poorly reviewed original titles could result in the loss of half a billion dollars this year, while Quibi's mobile app download and viewership numbers have fallen drastically short of expectations. At its current pace, Quibi is expected to have less than two million paying subscribers by April 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported. (A number that Quibi disputes.)

It's just been a storm of misfortune for Quibi since it launched in April, just a few weeks after the coronavirus pandemic had locked down the majority of the U.S. and forced its target demographic indoors and frustrated that they couldn't cast Quibi on TV. On top of that, it's silly name became the butt of jokes and continues to make headlines about its poor branding to this date.