Fox buys ad-supported streaming service Tubi for $440M

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Fox became the latest major media corporation to step into the world of streaming on Tuesday with its all-cash acquisition of Tubi, an ad-supported service that hosts a variety of popular television series and movies.

Under terms of the deal, which was financed in large part with funds Fox gained through a sale of its stake in Roku, Tubi will remain a separate entity and retain current CEO Farhad Massoudi, reports The Wrap.

With a user base of 25 million people as of December, Tubi offers a range of movies and television shows from partners including Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount. Fox plans to leverage the platform for its own content, though the creation of originals, a mainstay of streaming leaders like Netflix, is not currently planned.

"Tubi will immediately expand our direct-to-consumer audience and capabilities and will provide our advertising partners with more opportunities to reach audiences at scale," said Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch. "Importantly, coupled with the combined power of Fox's existing networks, Tubi provides a substantial base from which we will drive long-term growth in the direct-to-consumer arena."

Fox's acquisition follows similar moves from entertainment companies looking to take a slice of the booming streaming segment. Most companies are concentrating on subscription-based offerings, though some are experimenting with free-to-stream services. For example, ViacomCBS purchased Pluto TV for $340 million in 2019, while Comcast acquired Xumo in February. Sony also offers an ad-supported product in Crackle.

Tubi content can be streamed on the web and on a number of portable and set-top device operating systems, including iOS and tvOS, via native apps.