Roku seems to be feeling pretty proud of its new original programming as the company has revealed that more people have streamed Roku Originals (shows originally made for failed platform Quibi) in two weeks than the entire Quibi audience did during the platform’s half-year run.
Roku bought the majority of Quibi’s streaming library this January after the mobile-focused streaming startup failed. Since then, Roku released 30 of these shows in mid-May for free with ads on the Roku Channel, its free streaming service.
Roku hasn’t shared how many specific viewers have watch Roku Original content, but it did say that over one in three Roku Channel users watched on average nine episodes of one of the new shows. Deadline reports that the Roku Channel reaches about 70 million people. Roku also mentioned that from May 20th to June 3rd, the top ten Roku Channel shows were all Roku Originals.
Rob Holmes, Roku’s vice president of programming, said in an investor relations press release, “We always believed Roku Originals would perform exceptionally well as free, ad-supported entertainment on The Roku Channel. The first two weeks have surpassed our expectations, with millions of people streaming Roku Originals…”
Other reports claim that Roku is close to spending $1 billion USD (roughly $1.2 billion CAD) on content. This isn’t anywhere near Netflix’s $17 billion USD (roughly $21 billion CAD), but for a lower-key service like Roku, it’s a sizable amount. The company even announced that it has greenlit a second season of Kevin Hart’s comedy Die Hart.
Roku has yet to release all its original content and it has 45 more Quibi shows to drop throughout 2021.