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Paramount Makes OTT Deal With Ad-Supported Tubi TV

11 Mar, 2015 By: Stephanie Prange

More than 50 feature films from Paramount Pictures’ library are available for free streaming on ad-supported Tubi TV under a new deal.

Catalog titles including Top Gun, Basic Instinct, Total Recall, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and The Hunt for Red October are available under the agreement — which began March 1 and lasts through the end of 2015 — as well as recent releases from 2014 and 2013. Horror fans can view the “Friday the 13th” series, Stephen King films and Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, among other titles. 

It’s Tubi TV’s first deal with a major studio in its quest to fill a void in the over-the-top marketplace dominated by Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, among others. Those services, however, do not focus on free, ad-supported, older catalog, but rather on newer or original programming, often for a monthly charge.

“As Netflix becomes the new HBO, we’re trying to be the next Turner Broadcasting,” said Farhad Massoudi, founder and CEO of adRise, Tubi TV’s parent company.

The deal includes close to 80 titles, he said, which cycle in and out of the service based on the title.

“Our thinking and philosophy is people in this market are cost-conscious,” he said, making Tubi TV’s free offering particularly attractive as subscription services multiply. “As the world becomes more over the top, we believe we can provide value.”

Tubi TV has about 120 other content partners, including Shine, Hasbro, Starz and TBS. There are close to 7,000 titles on the site, Massoudi said, and the service has licensed about 25,000 TV episodes and feature films. Many of the TV offerings are British TV shows.

“We will get the best content that can be available for free,” he said, content that is “otherwise collecting dust” and is often not available on competitors such as Netflix.

Another plus for content owners is the ability to measure engagement and target advertising on Tubi TV — and content owners get a cut of the ad take as well as analytics and insight into their audience.

“We are looking to be a great source of revenue for content companies,” Massoudi said, noting Netflix is “paying them less and less money.”

Tubi TV Commercial breaks are four minutes to six minutes per half hour, much less than broadcast TV, Massoudi said, making it more palatable to its growing audience. Tubi TV has registered more than 1 million downloads since its launch about seven to eight months ago.

Massoudi believes the service is the largest and most significant in the space, which also includes Crackle, owned by Sony, which has about 1,000 titles.

“We are pleased to be entering into this agreement, which will deliver many of the most popular and exciting movies in film history to Tubi TV’s growing user base,” said Dina Vangelisti, SVP of domestic television licensing and distribution for Paramount Pictures.

Tubi TV is also announcing Sandy Grushow, CEO of Phase 2 Media and former Chairman of Fox TV, is joining their advisory board.

Tubi TV is available on tubitv.com, iTunes, Google Play and Connected TV devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Xbox 360. Tubi TV will soon arrive on Xbox One, Samsung, Sony, Chromecast and other devices.

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