Maria Montero

Free streaming service Tubi plans to invest $ 100M + …

Tubi, the free movie and television streaming service, is preparing to double content acquisitions this year, the company announced this morning. Today the service offers more than 12,000 movies and TV series, with a total of 40,000 hours of content. All of this can be streamed for free, as the content is paid not for customer subscriptions, but for advertising. Now the company is preparing to invest more than $ 100 million to expand its library this year, after reaching profitability in the fourth quarter of 2018, and addressing new markets.

Founded in 2014, Tubi has benefited from the trend to cut cables, as well as the increasing number of younger consumers who have never opted to pay for cable or satellite television in the first place, sometimes referred to as “cable cables. “.

The company claims that its audience increased by more than 4.3 times from December 2017 to December 2018, allowing it to reach the profitability milestone. In the fourth quarter alone, it saw more revenue than in all of 2017 combined, it also noted. And it increased its revenue by more than 180 percent in 2018.

When it comes to advertising, the company says it ran campaigns from more than 1,000 advertisers in 2018, including those from most of the major CPG and automotive companies.

However, various aspects of Tubi’s business are not disclosed alongside today’s news, only the highlights. What the company doesn’t say is how many monthly active users it has, how many hours they watch, or how many ad impressions take place on its platform. These types of metrics are critical to measuring success in ad-supported videos.

Along with its plans to grow its library, Tubi is preparing to expand outside of the US and Canada, with the first market launch this quarter.

To help fund growth and content acquisitions, Tubi closed in December with $ 25 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank.

These plans come at a time when Tubi’s business model has seen increased competition.

For example, Roku entered ad-supported programming with its own launch of The Roku Channel in fall 2017, saying earlier in the month that it now has 27 million user accounts. Of course, Roku doesn’t break you down by the amount of use of its platform for other services, compared to those that specifically release free Roku content, but that’s the potential reach of its ad-supported channel.

In addition to Roku, Tubi competes against Walmart’s advertising video on Vudu; Amazon’s new IMDb service, Freedive; Viacom’s latest acquisition, Pluto TV; The service focused on Sinclair’s local station, Stirr; and soon, plex. Comcast will also launch a free streaming service for its pay TV customers in 2020.

Tubi, like many of these services, believes in its potential, as consumers get tired of being squashed and dimmed for video subscriptions.

“In 2018, we at Tubi saw tremendous growth as consumers, fatigued by SVOD subscriptions and services, sought entertainment alternatives,” said Farhad Massoudi, CEO of Tubi, in a statement. “We will continue to use the proceeds to place bigger bets on content, improve the viewing experience and continue to move towards new fundamentals in what is our main advantage: technology and data,” he added.

In reality, however, Tubi competes for attention among a growing streaming market, which includes paid subscription video offerings. Today’s consumers are creating custom packages that make sense to them – a little Netflix and HBO, perhaps, with some free content through services like Tubi, for example.

The advantage of Tubi, of course, is that you don’t have to spend the billions on content and originals that subscription video services like Netflix do to win over users. Instead, it’s based on titles that have general appeal, but may not be winning any awards, such as old movies, children’s shows, horror movie movies, horror movies, and reality TV.

At the end of the day, though, Tubi won’t necessarily benefit from people tiring subscription video, but from the growing influx of cable cutters who are looking for older or niche content not included in subscription libraries, or who just want to watch a free movie.