Roku said Friday that its slate of original programming, which it acquired from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s shuttered startup Quibi, has led to “significant growth.”
Roku didn’t break out specific numbers, but said that since the Quibi shows — which star A-listers like Jennifer Lopez and Kevin Hart — debuted on the platform in May, more than one in three Roku Channel users have tuned in to watch.
The Roku Channel is the company’s free channel, which houses movies and TV series, such as “The Fugitive” starring Harrison Ford, “Contact” with Jodie Foster and Comedy Central’s “Reno 911!”
Roku said on average, users streamed over nine episodes of the short-form original Quibi content, which includes shows like “Chrissy’s Court” starring Chrissy Teigen, who acts as a courtroom judge presiding over real cases, and “Murder House Flip,” a series in which infamous homes known for murders and crimes get a renovation.
Roku’s vice president of programming, Rob Holmes, said the Quibi shows, rebranded as Roku Originals, “surpassed our expectations” within the first two weeks, bringing in “millions of people.”
Roku acquired Quibi’s library of more than 75 shows in January for under $100 million. The transaction allowed Katzenberg, the Hollywood mogul behind Quibi, to get out of a money-leaching endeavor, and gave Roku the ability to pump up its free namesake in-house channel.
In the first quarter, Roku said its Roku Channel reached 70 million people in the US and that more growth is expected as it eyes increasing original and licensed content.
The streaming-stick maker said it expects to release 45 originals this year to complement the Roku Channel’s massive, 40,000-plus library of free movies and TV shows and over 190 live linear channels. Beefing up its original content will give Roku the ability to bring in more advertising dollars and build up its branded content offering.