Who says you need to pay to watch streaming content? Tubi TV doesn’t believe you need to. Tubi is similar to Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, HBO MAX and others, but there is one big advantage that Tubi has, it’s free.
Fox bought Tubi in 2020 for around $440 million, so the “free” aspect of Tubi could change in the future. However, for now, it continues to be completely free.
What is Tubi?
Tubi is an interesting streaming service, similar to Pluto TV and Xumo, Tubi TV is completely free. Pluto TV was bought up by ViacomCBS and Xumo by Comcast, while Fox bought Tubi.
There’s no paid option for Tubi, none whatsoever. So how does Tubi make money? You’ll have to watch some ads while you watch its content. And yeah, ads apparently make up enough for Tubi to stay in business. Part of this is because Tubi is not showing Live TV. So you aren’t seeing ads on shows that are on CBS, CNN, or any other channel. Instead these are Tubi’s own ads.
Additionally, Tubi doesn’t have any exclusives and for the most part, it’s older content. So as the saying goes “you get what you pay for” and that’s true with Tubi.
How much is Tubi?
While you’re paying $17 for Netflix, $15 for HBO MAX and more for a live TV service, Tubi is charging their customers absolutely nothing.
Tubi is basically using Google’s old business model. Where they get you in using their service, and then show you ads to pay for the business. But keep in mind that “you get what you pay for” when it comes to Tubi. So don’t expect to see Game of Thrones, 90 Day Fiance, The Bachelor or many other top TV shows and movies on Tubi. At least not right away.
Ads will run before and during a movie or TV show. They are typically 15 to 30 seconds, so they aren’t tough to get through. And we’re not looking at 3 minutes straight of ads like Hulu does on its ad-supported plan. They are unskippable, as you might expect, so it’s a lot like watching YouTube.
What movies & TV shows are available on Tubi?
Tubi has a relatively small catalog of titles, compared to the competition. There’s around 20,000 movies and TV shows available on Tubi.
It has partnered with around 250 different providers, providing you with a great selection of content to watch. That includes content from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. As well as TV content from A&E, Complex Networks and others.
When it comes to movies, you won’t find any of the more recent hits. Most of the movies available on Tubi are quite a bit older. You’d be lucky to find something released in the last five years, on Tubi. There are a lot of good classics available though.
Though, with TV shows, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. You see, we do have some very popular shows available here like Hell’s Kitchen, Duck Dynasty among many others.
What’s really cool on Tubi, though, is the “Not on Netflix” category. Which is exactly what it sounds like. This is a collection of movies and TV shows that are not on Netflix. But don’t expect blockbuster hits in this category. As with the rest of the Tubi platform, these are mostly older programs, though you may find a hit or two in there.
What features are available?
Not many. It’s basically the basics, and since this is a free service, we aren’t totally surprised.
You can add content to your list to watch, but if you switch to another platform, your list won’t switch, unless you create an account.
There are some parental controls available, but those are also very limited. Basically, you can limit content based on the rating. But you can’t limit specific genres, or specific shows.
It’s free, so you can’t expect to have every feature and the kitchen sink included.
What does Tubi lack?
As with any “free” service, there are some things that are missing, or lacking with Tubi. First up is video quality. It’s just 720p. Which, it’s fine, but on a 4K TV, it doesn’t really look great. And there is nothing available in 1080p. Not to mention a lot of the content on Tubi was shot before the industry moved to HD, so you may not even get a 720p stream here. Depending on the platform, there is an option to adjust the quality, but not available on every platform.
Closed Captioning is also limited to just English. Which, for most of us in the US, that is probably not a problem. But not everyone speaks english. So being able to get closed captioning and/or the audio in other languages would be a nice feature to have.
You don’t need to create an account to use Tubi, which is nice. It means you can just download it and get started watching content. But if you want to use parental controls, you will need to create an account. The parental controls are there, but not that robust. Basically, you can only limit what kids can watch, based on the rating for the program.
What’s a bit strange, is that the interface of Tubi does differ quite a bit from app to app. So if you use it on Fire TV and then move to Android TV or even to your Android smartphone, you may find a vastly different interface.
One of the bigger lackings of Tubi is no sports or live programming. Of course, Netflix doesn’t have that either – Hulu does have some live stuff, but it’s somewhat rare. Again, considering the price tag here, and the fact that this is not a live TV service, that is not a big surprise.
Don’t get us wrong, this is a pretty decent streaming service, especially for the price. But it would be nice for Tubi to offer a paid subscription to get some of these features and newer video content.
What platforms support Tubi?
Currently, Tubi supports most of the popular platforms. It’s available on Android smartphones and tablets, Chromecast, Android TV, iOS, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Tablets, Roku, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series S. Which covers most of the bases.
So no matter where you are, you can stream Tubi on your TV, or your smartphone or tablet. And enjoy some free content.
Where is Tubi available?
Surprisingly, Tubi is not limited to just the US. Tubi TV is available in a few other countries as well.
Tubi TV is available in North America – the United States, Canada and Mexico. As well as Australia. And it expects to launch in more regions in the coming years.
Should I download and use Tubi TV?
Tubi is not the streaming service that is going to serve all of your needs. But it is a nice compliment to the many others that you might have. Including some titles that you may not have on other services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV, HBO MAX and others. And since it’s free, you might as well add it to your collection of streaming services.
For a free streaming service, it’s pretty decent. Just don’t expect it to be amazing for this price. Though it’s going to be interesting to see what Fox does with it in the coming years, after paying nearly half a billion for the service.