Is the future of TV free?

I caught up yesterday with Farhad Massoudi, the CEO of adRise. The company has focused the last several years building a connected TV content distribution and monetization platform. Essentially helping any video content creator get their content onto any connected TV or over the top (OTT) device with a native app. adRise then monetizes the content with video ads through their ad exchange and splits the revenue with content creators. In a fragmented connected TV and OTT environment with the likes of Roku, Google TV, and Samsung all competing for a slice of the pie, adRise enables content producers to hit them all with their turnkey solution. This has been a great business for adRise, and as they partnered with more and more content creators, a potentially bigger business fell on their lap and they jumped all over it.

The company is now introducing Tubi TV, the free premium TV and movie content destination and app. Tubi TV allows you to watch TV shows and movies for free, that’s right, free. Well, they insert a few commercials into the programs through the adRise platform, but you get the content for free and content creators(and adRise) make a little money through video commercials. Think Amazon Prime or Netflix without the monthly subscription fees. Farhad and team worked with the content partners they established through adRise to make Tubi TV a reality. They are currently available at http://tubitv.com/ or as apps on iOS, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Xbox 360. The content library today contains 5,000 TV shows and movies, growing 15-20% monthly.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 11.22.44 AM

I hopped on Tubi TV last night, cruised around the categories of content like New Arrivals, Documentary, and Drama and found all sorts of movies I have queued up to watch. They even have a category called Not on Netflix. Tubi TV seems ripe for business development deals with publishers or networks looking to bring new content to their audiences.

As connected TV screens become more mainstream, consumers will have their choice of paying monthly subscription fees, renting, or choosing to tune into the likes of Tubi TV for free content if they don’t mind commercials mixed in with their entertainment. It’s certainly not a zero sum game, all will serve their purpose and Tubi TV will attract adoption from those who don’t necessarily want to pay monthly subscription fees. Take a look, watch some movies, and tell us what you think.

See our full Future of TV sector landscape and coverage here.

Nader

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