2020 is officially in the books, but some of the most unexpected elements of the year are continuing to make headlines. Among those, surprisingly, is Quibi, the streaming service that launched in April of last year and quickly befuddled the general public in the process. Quibi - short for "Quick Bites" - offered an array of short-form content for fans to watch on their mobile phones, an idea that wasn't able to reach its full potential amid the stay-at-home orders of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the app has confirmed that it would be shutting down, the company has shifted focus to finding a new home for its various pieces of content -- and it looks like it might have found a buyer. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Quibi is in "advanced talks" to sell its catalog of original content to Roku, which is best known for its online streaming and television platform.
This deal would theoretically give Roku a roster of original content, just as it is trying to get into that space with the Roku Channel. The channel, which first launched in 2017, offers an array of licensed content in an ad-supported, but free setting. This comes after reports in October had indicated that Quibi reportedly tried - and failed - to sell its content and its company to companies like Apple, WarnerMedia, and Facebook.
"Our goal when we launched Quibi was to create a new category of short-form entertainment for mobile devices," Quibi co-creators Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman said in a blog post last year. Although the circumstances were not right for Quibi to succeed as a standalone company, our team achieved much of what we set out to accomplish, and we are tremendously proud of the award-winning and innovative work that we have produced, both in terms of original content and the underlying technology platform. Over the coming months we will be working hard to find buyers for these valuable assets who can leverage them to their full potential."
"Quibi is not succeeding. Likely for one of two reasons: because the idea itself wasn't strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing," the post continued. "Unfortunately, we will never know but we suspect it's been a combination of the two. The circumstances of launching during a pandemic is something we could have never imagined but other businesses have faced these unprecedented challenges and have found their way through it. We were not able to do so."
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