Roku Originals

Remember Quibi? It was a magical streaming service where everything was very short! Also, it failed miserably. In January, Roku picked up the library of Quibi titles, but rather than keep the Quibi name, Roku is rebranding everything they purchased as Roku Originals. And thus I think we can finally drive the final nail into Quibi’s coffin. So long, Quibi. You tried your best.

I feel bad for Quibi. To be clear: I don’t feel bad for Quibi’s founder, Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is obscenely wealthy and can do anything he wants. But I do feel a little bad about the whole Quibi experiment, in which the streaming service tried to push short-form content on people. The service had bad press from the start, and the name – which was short for “quick bites” – didn’t much help matters. Then there was the general approach: Quibi was meant to be a streaming service for people on the go; a streamer with 10 minute shows you could watch on your way to work or your lunch break. As extremely bad luck would have it, the service launched just at a time when everyone stopped being on the go, thanks to coronavirus.

Of course, it didn’t help that a lot of the shows on Quibi – they had one called Murder House Flip – sounded like jokes from random episodes of 30 Rock. That said, when the service first launched I went ahead and watched every single thing they had available, and some of it was pretty good. Quibi itself is gone now, but those shows live on thanks to Roku, which purchased Quibi’s content in January. The titles aren’t available on Roku just yet, but they’ll be there soon. And it looks like they won’t be using the Quibi name, which isn’t that surprising, honestly.

According to Variety, Roku is putting Quibi out of its misery for good by rebranding the Quibi titles as Roku Originals. Per the Variety report, “The 75-plus original shows from Quibi will be available to watch for free on the ad-supported Roku Channel starting sometime this year, the company has said.” In addition to that, “Roku Originals also will be the brand name for future original programming for The Roku Channel, which is currently available in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada. The company said it will provide additional details next month about the launch of Roku Originals.”

So fare thee well, Quibi. You died as you lived: quickly.

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