Roku has confirmed it will be making thirty ‘Roku Originals’ available to stream for free on The Roku Channel, starting May 20. The shows are primary ones that were previously available on Quibi. However, unlike the previous way these shows were packaged and delivered, consumers will be able to watch the videos for free through The Roku Channel.
Roku first launched The Roku Channel back in 2017 as a way for consumers to stream select movies and TV shows for free. While the service is still free, it has expanded over time and this has included the option to add paid premium subscriptions. At the same time, The Roku Channel has also expanded in terms of device support, reaching beyond the company’s own players.
Roku has now confirmed that it will debut thirty Roku Originals titles on May 20 via The Roku Channel. These shows are repackaged Quibi shows, following Roku’s purchase of much of the Quibi catalog in early 2021. The deal included 75 titles overall, but only 30 of those are now being made available. It remains unclear when the additional titles purchased from Quibi will also be released as Roku Originals.
On May 20, users of The Roku Channel will be able to stream the likes of #FreeRayshawn, Blackballed, Chrissy’s Court, The Fugitive, Most Dangerous Game, Murder House Flip and Reno 911!, among others. The Roku Channel is available on a number of platforms and devices, including Roku players and TVs powered by Roku OS, Samsung smart TV, as well as Android and iOS devices.
The return of Quibi
Qubi was an interesting but short-lived service, considering it shut down only months after launching in the U.S. The big selling point with Quibi was its emphasis on content designed for viewing on mobile phones. This not only meant shows could be watched in either landscape or portrait mode, but it also meant episodes were typically less than ten minutes long.
In spite of having a clear direction, Quibi suffered from issues. One of which was device support as the service was not only mobile-first, but mobile-only to begin with, resulting in the inability to watch on any device other than a smartphone. Considering the availability of The Roku Channel on many platforms and devices, these Quibi shows now rebranded as Roku Originals will have the opportunity to reach even more consumers.