Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios and Lionsgate have made undisclosed equity investments in adRise, the company behind Tubi TV, a free, ad-based on-demand OTT offering that competes with services such as Sony-owned Crackle.
Tied in, MGM and Lionsgate will also license “library content” to Tubi TV, a free VOD service launched in April 2014 that runs on iOS and Google mobile devices, the Amazon Fire TV, Roku players and Roku TVs, the Xbox One and Xbox 360, Samsung connected devices and Apple TV. They said the deal spans “hundreds” of titles, including Midnight Cowboy, Crash, Rain Man, and The Hurt Locker, Fargo, and American Psycho.
Tubi TV, which inked a movie and TV deal with Paramount Pictures earlier this year, said the Lionsgate and MGM titles will add to its current library of about 40,000 movies and TV shows.
Tubi TV said viewership on its platform have increased 400% over the past year.
In addition to the investment and content licensing deal, Sandy Grushow, former chairman of Fox Television Entertainment Group and CEO of Phase 2 Media, has joined the Tubi TV board. Cota Capital has also come on board as an investor.
"Consumers want more streaming premium content without subscribing to yet another app or paying for another channel. Tubi TV's mission is to make premium content accessible to everyone, everywhere, without having to pay more. Tubi TV will always be free,’ said Farhad Massoudi, founder and CEO of Tubi TV, in a statement.
"We're delighted to partner with Farhad and his team at Tubi TV as we continue to ensure that our content is being monetized across every platform, digital and linear, ad-supported and subscriber-based, domestically and internationally," added Jim Packer, Lionsgate’s president of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution. "This agreement reflects our ongoing commitment to license our content across an expanding array of ad-supported digital platforms and serve next generation audiences around the world."
"MGM's investment and license agreements enable the studio to expand into OTT services, allowing consumers to find MGM films and series on multiple platforms,” said John Bryan, president, domestic television distribution at MGM.