By Don Reisinger, Kelly Woo, Henry T. Casey
Tubi is a free streaming service with a large library of movies and TV shows.
Tubi is an ad-supported free steaming service that many people are curious about, especially after Fox bought Tubi for $440 million.
Tubi offers over 20,000 older TV shows and movies to watch for free. Their library holds content from studios including Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate and networks including A&E, Lifetime and Starz. The company says it has 25 million active monthly viewers who spend over 160 million hours per month watching content on Tubi.
Tubi at a Glance
Supported devices: Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Smart TVs, web browsers, iPhones and iPads, Android phones and tablets, Chromecast, xfinity x1, Cox Contour, Xbox One, Playstation 3 and 4
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Tubi is one of several free streaming services, which is an expanding market. ViacomCBS bought Pluto TV last year, while Comcast bought Xumo in February 2020.
Tubi is a video streaming service, not unlike Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and others, with a vast library of television shows and movies you can stream from your phone, smart TV or streaming device at no charge. The only catch is that you'll need to watch some ads while you stream its content.
Yes, Tubi is actually free. No lie. It might be difficult to fathom in a world dominated by fear of piracy that a streaming video service could be free and legal, but, yes, Tubi is legal.
The secret ingredient in Tubi's business model is advertising. The company is trying to use the appeal of "free" to bring more and more people to its service. It then charges advertisers to connect with those customers.
Those ads run before and during a movie or television show, so you'll definitely be seeing them often. They're not so bad, though —at 15 seconds to 30 seconds, it's not hard to get through them. However, they're unskippable, so if you try to race through them, you won't be able to.
TubiTV and movies
Tubi's library size of more than 20,000 movies and television shows is surprisingly big for a service that hasn't yet reached mainstream status like Netflix and Hulu.
Tubi was able to amass that much content by partnering with more than 250 providers, including Hollywood heavyweights Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. You'll also find programming from A&E, Complex Networks and others.
In terms of the actual shows and films, it's a bit of a mixed bag. There are some downright popular options on the service, like Hell's Kitchen, Duck Dynasty and others. But on the movie front, you won't find the latest and greatest hits.
Tubi has a handy Most Popular section, which gives you some insight into the most well-known movies it offers. As of this writing, the 2011 Johnny Depp film Rango is tops, followed by Pride and Glory; the documentaries Little Women: Atlanta, Lionheart, Rock Dog and Congo are also sitting at the top of the list.
You'll also find a host of categories that aim to help you find content you like. For instance, there are TV dramas, anime, "classics" for old-school favorites, and "preschool" for child-friendly programming.
Arguably, Tubi's most interesting category is "Not on Netflix," a collection of films and television shows that, for one reason or another, you can't get on Netflix. But this category is like everything else on the service, a collection of mostly misses (including Rob Schneider's The Animal and Bulletproof Monk starring Chow-Yun Fat and Seann William Scott) and a rare hit or two (such as the 2010 True Grit remake).
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Tubi got a positive review over at CordCutting, which gave high marks for its interface and clever categories. The site noted that while Tubi's library is limited, compared to the big titans like Netflix, that's to be understood because it's free and meant to be supplementary material. Lifewire also recommended the service, noting how short its ad breaks are.
Tubi offers a slew of options for getting the service onto your TV, including apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. We've got links to all of those app stores below. Tubi isalso available on the PS4 and Xbox One. And if you're a Comcast Xfinity or Tivo user, you'll find Tubi apps on those platforms, as well.
- Amazon Fire (opens in new tab)
- Android (opens in new tab) (Google Play Store)
- iOS, iPadOS, tvOS (opens in new tab) (Apple)
- Roku (opens in new tab)
- Windows (opens in new tab) (Microsoft)
Smart TVs and Blu-ray players from Samsung and Sony also work with Tubi.
Tubi is also available via web browsers at tubitv.com (opens in new tab). So, if you're looking to watch it from your laptop or Chromebook, head on over there and you'll find all the content you want.
On the mobile side, you'll find Tubi is available in both Apple's App Store and the Google Play marketplace, so you can access it on just about any iPhone or Android device available now.
Tubi lacks sports and live programming
Sorry, but if you're looking for live channels, you're out of luck. Tubi only provides content that's already aired or premiered on the silver screen (or your home theater).
There aren't any live sports events on the service, either. However, if you search for sports programming, you'll find some options, including Driving Sports and Sports Adventures.
If you're interested in Tubi, you might be wondering what you won't get out of the service. For one, Tubi doesn't come with much, if any, new or original content. What you'll find here is a nice library of media, but not necessarily a boatload of brand-new shows and films. And since there's no live television, Tubi doesn't come with a cloud DVR. It does, however, have a queue that will let you save stuff for easy access later on.
If you're looking to watch some older films and television shows, Tubi might be a great place to start. It's free, has plenty of shows and movies for folks interested in any genre and comes with a nice interface.
If you're someone who just enjoys content and you don't necessarily have a particular show or movie you just have to watch, you can have fun on Tubi finding programming. But if you're into the latest and greatest hits or you want to check out exceedingly popular films and television series, Tubi might not be for you.
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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.
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Is Tubi worth it? ›
Tubi is a streaming service with over 40,000 movies and TV episodes across many genres. Though the service is free to use, you have to sit through ads. Tubi can't replace a subscription platform like Netflix, but it's a worthwhile supplemental app.What is Tubi and why is it free? ›
Tubi is a legal (and free) video streaming application. To keep our service legal and free, we include ads, which monetize the content that our partners, such as MGM, Lionsgate, and Paramount, provide to us!How much is Tubi worth? ›
On March 17, 2020, Fox Corporation announced that it would acquire Tubi for $440 million, with the sale being completed on April 20; Farhad Massoudi would remain at the company, which would continue as a separate subsidiary.What is Tubi app? ›
About this app. Watch thousands of hit movies and TV series for free. Tubi is 100% legal unlimited streaming, with no credit cards and no subscription required. Choose what you want to watch, when you want to watch it, with fewer ads than regular TV.What are the pros and cons of Tubi TV? ›
Tubi TV: Pros and Cons.
|FREE!||Content library is a bit dated|
|Content from major film studios||No way to anticipate commercial breaks|
|Intuitive app and web streaming options|
- The Chosen (2017– ) TV-PG | 54 min | Drama, History. ...
- The Hunger Games (2012) PG-13 | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi. ...
- The Silence of the Lambs (1991) R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller. ...
- Fight Club (1999) ...
- Heat (1995) ...
- Schindler's List (1993) ...
- Gladiator (2000) ...
- Scream (1996)
Although it faces competition, in a TiVo survey of over 4,500 consumers, The Roku Channel ranked as the most popular ad-supported streaming service, followed by Fox's Tubi, Peacock (which since has done away with its free tier for new subscribers) and Paramount's Pluto TV.Is there a catch for Tubi? ›
Tubi is a completely free streaming app
There is a catch, of course, but it's just that there are ads. Tubi takes breaks at 12 to 15 minute intervals for ads, and these ads pay for the content — so it's kind of like regular TV, but where you get to choose what's on.
Tubi is a free streaming service that is ad-supported. While there's an option to subscribe, it doesn't require subscriptions to view content, and thus it's essentially a free library of movies, television shows, concerts, stand-up comedy, documentaries, and shorts.Is Tubi the best free streaming service? ›
Dubbed "The Free Netflix," Tubi is one of the best options for streaming quality movies and TV shows online. The completely free, ad-supported service has one of the most extensive title lineups, plus it's compatible with most devices, making it an extremely popular option for cord-cutters.