Quibi in Talks to Bring Streaming App to Roku, Amazon Fire TV (EXCLUSIVE)

Tuesday - 16/06/2020 20:16
Quibi Courtesy of Quibi
Quibi Courtesy of Quibi
It’s a tacit acknowledgement that the strategic decision to quarantine Quibi on smartphones, to stand out from the Netflixes and Hulus of the world — “Mobile video is the white space,” Katzenberg said last year — has not panned out as expected.

Quibi, built for mobile-only viewing by an audience envisioned to be phone-toting millennials, now wants to get on more living-room TVs.

The company, founded by ex-movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, has been in talks with both Roku and Amazon about building native apps for their connected-TV platforms, Variety has learned. In Amazon’s case, that would be its family of Fire TV devices.

Quibi’s negotiations with Amazon have “recently picked back up,” according to a source familiar with the discussions. With Roku, talks about bringing Quibi to the platform are said to be in very early stages; a source cautioned that Roku may walk away from a deal based on the revenue-sharing agreement proposed by Quibi. (A Quibi rep did not provide comment on its talks with Roku and Amazon by press time.)

One reason for the urgency: Quibi’s download and viewership numbers have fallen far short of its expectations, before it even starts charging for subscriptions. Indeed, at its current pace, Quibi will have less than 2 million paying subscribers by April 2021, less than 30% of its 7.4 million year-one target, the Wall Street Journal reported. (Quibi disputes the Journal’s numbers but declined to offer different subscriber projections.)

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