The Internet is choked with streaming services and, at this point, some people might not know a Tubi from a Quibi. However, Tubi, which is a division of Fox Entertainment and purports to offer over 30,000 titles, has at least one thing going for it that other services don’t: it’s free.
It has also now entered into a content deal with STXfilms which will give it an exclusive AVOD (advertising-based video on demand) window for movies like Den of Thieves with Gerard Butler and 50 Cent, I Feel Pretty with Amy Schumer, Peppermint with Jennifer Garner, The Edge of Seventeen with Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson, and more.
A free streaming service, you say? How is that possible? What makes Tubi tick? Well, it’s ad-supported, so that’s how it can afford to be out there without a subscription fee. The only thing that might still be confusing is the fact that Fox is now owned by Disney. Shouldn’t these movies theoretically be on Disney+?
The thing is, they’re not all Fox movies. Fox just bought Tubi last year in a multimillion-dollar deal, and Tubi works with over 250 content partners, one of which is now STXfilms, the studio behind such hits as Greenland, Hustlers, Bad Moms, The Upside, The Gentlemen, and Molly’s Game. As of August 1, Tubi will also be the exclusive home for the adventure documentary Into the Lost Desert, which “follows extreme desert explorer Max Calderan as he crosses the Rub’ al Khali on foot.”
Here are some of the other movies Tubi will now offer, based on its press release:
Tubi’s deal with STXfilms brings several additional titles to FOX Entertainment’s free streaming service, including “Desierto,” starring Gael Garcia Bernal; “Free State of Jones,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mahershala Ali; “Songbird,” produced by Michael Bay; “Hardcore Henry”; “Me You Madness”; “Mile 22,” starring Mark Wahlberg; “Secret in Their Eyes,” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts; “The Boy”; “The Bye Bye Man”; “The Gift”; and “The Happytime Murders,” starring Melissa McCarthy.
Free Streaming Content Is a Double-Edged Sword
Personally, I have subscriptions to about four different streaming services right now, but when I want to watch something, I still find myself looking at $19.99 rentals under Home Premieres on iTunes. Go figure.
Hearing this Tubi announcement, I can’t help but think of that U2 album, Songs of Innocence, which the band released for free to everyone with an iTunes account back in 2014. People who didn’t want the album, especially those for whom it automatically downloaded, complained about receiving it, as if U2 was now a group of in-your-face buskers who needed to be avoided on the sidewalk.
As strange as it may sound, when you no longer have to pay for something, maybe it loses part of its appeal as if it’s not worth your time or it’s always there and now you’re going to take it for granted. There’s something to be said for building up demand or pre-release hype for a movie or TV episode. This is arguably part of the reason why shows that drop all their episodes at once have a harder time living long at the water cooler.
The flip side of this, of course, is when there’s a movie you’ve been wanting or meaning to see, and it suddenly shows up on Netflix or some such service. Under those circumstances, there’s no better feeling than being able to stream it for free. Whether or not any of the movies or shows on Tubi meet those qualifications for you might depend on your own personal taste, but you can head on over to tubitv.com and browse or search their selection to see what’s on offer.
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