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Roku Apparently Has Content Dreams That Are Bigger Than Quibi

Illustration for article titled Roku Apparently Has Content Dreams That Are Bigger Than Quibi

Photo: Catie Keck/Gizmodo

After snapping up much of Quibi’s content, it looks like Roku may be exploring the development of its own originals—kind of like every other streaming service around.

As seen by Revealera and reported by Protocol, Roku appears to have recently listed a position on LinkedIn for a Lead Production Attorney, though the role is no longer accepting applications. Per the listing, the role would focus on Roku’s “expanding slate of original content” and would work “as lead production attorney for Roku’s original episodic and feature length productions.”

Further, the listing states that the role would negotiate agreements and consult on legal matters pertaining to “all manner of development and production agreements, including option purchase agreements, script acquisition agreements, life rights agreements, agreements to hire writers, actors, directors and individual producers, production services agreements, below-the-line agreements including for department heads, location agreements, clearances, prop rental agreements, likeness releases and credit memos.” That sure sounds like new content, rather than anything related to the stuff that Roku already has with its recent acquisition of Quibi assets.

Roku declined to comment.

Following Quibi’s demise last year (RIP), Roku acquired much of the Quibi catalog in a deal rumored to be valued at less than $100 million, Deadline reported at the time, citing unnamed sources. While the deal was said to exclude some daily shows, it did include more than 75 shows and documentaries that the service said would become available for free on Roku Channel sometime in 2021. The content will be supported by ads, however.

This all jibes with a report from Digiday last year that Roku had been meeting with media and entertainment firms about creating originals for its platform. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report indicated that those talks may not have been advanced. And at the time, a Roku spokesperson told the outlet that it wasn’t “creating any original shows and don’t have any plans to do so.” But that was back in March, and a lot has changed then—including Roku’s deal for the Quibi haul.

It also makes a lot of sense that Roku would be building out its Roku Channel with originals, just like many of its competitors do. Amazon, for example, creates content and also sells streaming devices with its Fire TV sticks and set-top-box. Apple similarly creates content offered through its Apple TV+ platform and on its own hardware. Creating content available to its Roku users could potentially help the platform further dominate the streaming space—though that would largely depend on the quality of the content itself.

After all, its devices give users dozens of on-demand video apps that allow them to stream content from just about any service to which they subscribe. And at this point, nobody needs another so-so streaming option. Please god, no more.

Added response from Roku.

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