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Did Roku Just Signal a Bigger Push Into Original Content?

By Danny Vena - Apr 21, 2021 at 1:33PM

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The streaming pioneer just sent the clearest message yet on its growing interest in original programming.

Roku (ROKU -0.37%) announced on Wednesday that it was introducing the Roku Originals brand, the clearest indication yet of the company's plans regarding original content. The streaming pioneer said in a press release that content from the now-defunct streaming service Quibi, which it acquired back in January, will be rebranded as Roku Originals and will be launched on The Roku Channel, the company's own ad-supported streaming channel. 

Perhaps more telling, however, was this statement (emphasis mine): "Roku Originals will also be the brand name for future original programming for The Roku Channel." This seems to suggest that this won't be the end to the company's growing ambitions for first-run programming.

Man's hand pointing a remote at a television showing streaming options.

Image source: Getty Images.

Roku announced in January that it had acquired the global distribution rights to the 75 premium shows and documentaries that appeared on Quibi before the mobile-focused, short-form video streaming service went belly-up. The content includes "Emmy award-winning scripted series, alternative and reality programming, and documentaries," featuring a host of Hollywood stars including Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen, and Lena Waithe. 

Last month, Roku acquired the studio behind -- and the rights to -- the popular home improvement program This Old House, further expanding its nascent content library. The program, and its companion show, Ask This Old House, added more than 1,500 episodes to Roku's catalog. 

Roku announced at the time that it would continue to produce new episodes of the popular shows, which would also continue to appear on other streaming outlets, including Amazon's (AMZN -0.55%) IMDb, Comcast's (CMCSA 1.26%) Peacock, ViacomCBS's (PARA 0.46%) Pluto TV, and Fox's (FOX -0.92%) Tubi TV.


John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Danny Vena owns shares of Amazon and Roku. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Roku. The Motley Fool recommends Comcast and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920.0 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940.0 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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