Roku could be next to battle Netflix and Disney Plus for original content
Roku is reportedly planning an expansion into original TV shows and movies, leveraging the millions of streaming devices it has in homes around the world.
According to a job position spied online, Roku was seeking a production attorney for “original episodic and feature-length productions” and has now filled the position.
According to the job description (via Protocol), the job would focus on the legal aspects of “option purchase agreements, script acquisition agreements, life rights agreements, agreements to hire writers, actors, directors and individual producers, production services agreements, below-the-line agreements including for department heads, location agreements, clearances, prop rental agreements, likeness releases and credit memos.”
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The recruitment push comes after Roku announced it had acquired the streaming service Quibi, which announced it was shutting down late last year. Roku plans to air all Quibi content on its set-top boxes and Roku OS-powered television sets in the coming months.
Programming such as #FreeRayshawn, Chrissy’s Court, Die Hart, Dummy, Flipped, Most Dangerous Game, Punk’d, Reno 911!, and Survive will live on via Roku devices and will be available free of charge. Reports at the time suggested Roku has paid up to $100m to acquire the content.
This is a nice added bonus for Roku device owners, but a wider expansion into original first-run content is a different matter all together in this deeply-saturated market. Netflix has over 200 million subscribers around the world, while Disney Plus has already amassed an insane 94 million subscribers in little over a year since launch. Apple TV Plus is making a big push for subscribers’ cash, while in the US there’s the likes of HBO Max and Peacock to contend with, as well as a host of other producers bringing their distribution in-house.
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