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Roku sizing up plan to develop original content

Roku appears to be hatching a plan to develop new, original content.

Per a now-closed job posting on LinkedIn, Roku is seeking a Lead Production Attorney to help the company with its "expanding slate of original content," and to take the legal lead with Roku's "original episodic and feature length productions."

The person in that role would also draft and negotiate agreements related to development and production agreements, including option purchase agreements, script acquisition agreements, and agreements to hire writers, actors, directors and individual producers.

Protocol first reported on the job posting.

Roku hasn't announced any specific plans to develop a slate of originals, but building out exclusive series and movies has been a hallmark of Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock and CBS All Access. Meanwhile, Amazon and Apple both operate competitive streaming platforms and streaming device businesses via Fire TV and Apple TV/tvOS, respectively, and both run streaming services (Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+) that feature exclusive, original content.

Roku has been licensing content for The Roku Channel, its ad-supported streaming aggregation service, but has also shown of late an appetite for getting into the premium content game itself. Last month, Roku struck a deal to acquire the global distribution rights for Quibi's catalog of short-form premium content.

Roku ended Q3 2020 with $1.04 billion in cash and cash equivalents. The company is scheduled to report Q4 results on Thursday, February 18.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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