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Tubi Wants to Get Into the Original Content Game

Jeff Kotuby

Powered by a stellar year, Tubi might be the next AVOD service to start creating original content.

During an investment conference, Fox CFO Steve Tomsic discussed the idea of Tubi’s potential slate of original programming, saying it would have to be cost-efficient — you won’t see the expensive shows you see on other platforms like Netflix and Disney+. This shift in strategy comes after Tubi’s Chief Content Officer Adam Lewinson said the company wouldn’t pursue original programming back in 2019.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Tubi will start off by focusing on original movies but discussed spending as much as $4 million an episode on new TV series, according to sources familiar with the plans. The company is still talking to advertisers about partnerships for its first slate of programs.

Tubi had a stellar 2020 campaign, where it announced its customer base grew to 33 million people and usage rates climbed to 58 percent. The upstart free, ad-supported streaming service expanded its news coverage and entertainment options over the course of 2020 — and it’s paid off in spades. Even FOX co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch was impressed with Tubi’s performance, saying his company expected “to win in AVOD” thanks to Tubi.

Could Tubi have been influenced by The Roku Channel’s news of original programming? The Streamable recently announced plans for The Roku Channel’s first non-Quibi original series, Cypher, which releases on March 19. This show will, of course, precede the incoming slate of originals from Quibi, which would give The Roku Channel a nice arsenal of original programming that its competition would have to match (should they want to.)

Tubi is available for download on most compatible smart devices, including Android and iOS mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, most smart TVs, Apple TV, Chromecast, and more.

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