Roku has made it official that the company is making original content. The maker of set-top boxes made the announcement in a 22nd April press release. The new brand is named Roku Originals.
The Upcoming Plans For Roku Originals
The company says that Roku will debut more than 75 original films and series this year on its ad-supported, free, network named The Roku Channel. Several of these new original shows will be recycled from Quibi’s content library that the company acquired in a January 2021 fire sale.
Earlier in the year, Protocol had reported a job advertisement that indicated Roku’s intention to invest in content that is original and not just the recently acquired Quibi stuff. Ad-supported, free, content is a relatively new area when it comes to streaming, but it is growing. Plex, Peacock, and Paramount Plus have all reported some amount of success in satisfying viewers with the completely free items that are viewable on their Smart TVs and set-top boxes. As such, it is logical for Roku to take this decision for Roku Originals, as they are a firm that already makes the most money from advertisements.
The specific type of content that is to be the first release is yet to be specified, however, or even when airing will begin. It is likely, though, that the previous Quibi content will appear much earlier than any programming from Roku Originals. The content has big names in its cast such as Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, and Idris Elba.
Quibi’s gimmick was that the content would change depending on the phone’s orientation. For instance, for Nest, a short film, landscape mode showed the main character’s PoV, while portrait view showed the security camera’s PoV. Presumably, only the landscape stream will be provided by Roku for now. This could mean that some stories may be changed altogether as critical plot points might not be available.