According to reports, fuboTV is expected to launch an ad-supported streaming channel by fourth quarter of this year. The service, which currently offers 70+ channels for $55 a month, is not expected to compete with services like Pluto TV, Xumo, Tubi and STIRR, according to a fuboTV spokesperson.
Instead, it is expected that the free ad-supported channel will contain live original programming. It is unclear whether that content would end up on their two existing channels — Fubo Cycling and fuboTV Network — which airs soccer content, or on an entirely new channel. A company spokesperson clarified the report, saying “fuboTV believes in the future of pay TV and we are looking at launching an ad-supported channel not a platform.”
In an interview with The Wrap, fuboTV CEO David Gandler said, “It will be a little bit smaller and more straightforward, but we certainly want to take advantage of the current trends.” The growing popularity of AVOD services come as M&A has picked up in the space.
Pluto TV, which recently announced it has 15 million active users, was acquired in January by Viacom for $340 million. Xumo announced last month that have 5.5 million active users, and has seen 300% revenue growth. The company has been rumored to be in acquisition talks with broadcasters including Sinclair Media Group — who has launched their own ad-supported streaming service, STIRR.
The ad-supported services have been able to grow their content as well. The Roku Channel recently announced that they have 10,000 free ad-supported movies and TV episodes. After signing a deal with NBCU, Tubi’s content library now includes more than 12,000 movies and television series – which is more than double in size to Netflix – approximately 40,000 hours of content.
Update 5/10 at 5pm ET
The article has been updated to reflect a statement from fuboTV:
“fuboTV believes in the future of pay TV and we are looking at launching an ad-supported channel not a platform.” The spokesperson added that this channel would not compete with services like Pluto TV, Xumo, Tubi and STIRR.