It looks like Roku is making plans to add original content to its current content library. A job listing originally reported on by Protocol showed that Roku was searching for a Lead Production Attorney with “substantial experience in television and film production either at a studio, network, streaming service or entertainment law firm.”
The listing, which is no longer accepting applications,
mentioned that the role would include “all manner of development and production
agreements, including 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.” All
signs point to producing original content for the platform.
Roku recently made a deal to acquire rights to Quibi’s original content, including 75 shows and documentaries created for the short form streaming service and over a dozen titles that never made it to the platform. Roku reportedly paid “significantly less” than $100 million for the content.
New original content would likely join Quibi on The Roku
Channel, Roku’s free streaming service. The move would help The Roku Channel compete
with both free services and paid streamers like Netflix and Prime Video which
use original content to pull in subscribers with the promise of content that
can’t be found elsewhere.
However, The Roku Channel isn’t just for free content.
Through the app, users can also subscribe to premium channels. When the Quibi content
deal was announced, Roku noted that the content will be free in 2021 for all
Roku users. After that, it’s possible that the content could move to a paid channel
where new original content could live as well.
Roku has not yet commented on the job listing or potential
plans for original content.