Free streaming platform Tubi reportedly getting into original programming

Free streaming platform Tubi has plans to branch out into original programming, Bloomberg reports, citing sources familiar with the company’s plans. The streamer will likely start with original movies, but is also exploring episodic TV shows, and is speaking with potential advertisers about partnerships, the report states.

Fox Corp. acquired Tubi for $440 million last March, in an attempt to get in on the streaming wars. Before the acquisition, Fox didn’t have its own streaming offering. Fox said at the time it planned to offer a large number of its older shows and movies to Tubi subscribers for free, as well as some sports programming. There was no talk at that time of Tubi creating original content to try to compete with the likes of established, paid streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu.

But Fox Corp. CFO Steve Tomsic said during an investors’ conference earlier this week that while the company would eventually create original content for Tubi, any shows or movies would be “cheap and cheerful,” not the big-budget offerings of larger streamers. “I stress it’s going to be cost-effective,” Tomsic said.

Fox expects Tubi to generate $300 million in ad revenue in the current fiscal year, Tomsic predicted. Tubi reported 33 million active users in December, a 65 percent increase from the year prior.

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