The free, ad-supported streaming movie and TV service Tubi is adding branded, curated on-demand channels to its product, giving content partners a branded place to offer their programming to Tubi’s users.
Tubi Channels, as it is called, will feature branded rows for each channel on Tubi’s home page. Users can also find all the content provided by that content owner on a dedicated landing page.
Launch partners will include DramaFever, Dove Channel, Shout Factory and MGM. Tubi Channels will be rolled out to the service’s users over the next few weeks.
“Tubi Channels are essentially Amazon Channels for free video on demand, offering instant distribution across all OTT devices and the growing distribution network of the Tubi app,” says Farhad Massoudi, founder and CEO of Tubi. “Finding audiences in the increasingly fragmented OTT space is incredibly hard, and Tubi Channels makes that process significantly easier for our content partners.”
Amazon Channels has become one of the most powerful aggregators of stand-alone streaming services. It focuses mostly on direct-to-consumer subscription offerings, leveraging Amazon’s data expertise to identify consumers who are likely to be interested in subscribing. Amazon then keeps a referral fee for those subscribers.
Tubi’s service, with its emphasis on free content, is different, but it also intended to help drive viewership to its content partners, many of whom sell ads against their services.
Tubi is one of a number of free streaming services looking to become the go-to supplement for subscription services like Netflix and Hulu. Its competitors include Xumo — which also uses a channel format, but does so in a linear fashion — Sony’s Crackle, Pluto TV and The Roku Channel, which uses Roku’s massive distribution base to gain audience share.