Start-up AVOD company Tubi is set to expand to Australia.
Starting September 1, the free-to-consumer, ad-supported streaming service will be available to Telstra TV subscribers through an integration deal with the telecom. It will also be viewable in Down Under region via Samsung smart TVs, as well as connected devices including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Sony PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. There’s app support for Apple iOS and Google Android mobile devices. And Australians can watch via PCs on Tubi.TV.
Tubi said it has secured rights to a library of 7,000 movies and TV shows at launch. Tubi name-dropped titles including 3:10 to Yuma, The Blair Witch Project, Kickboxer and Stranger Than Fiction in its press release touting the expansion.
International expansion is all the rage right now in the ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) business. Roku appears to be following Netflix’s game plan for its Roku Channel, building inroads into Latin America. ViacomCBS’ Pluto TV recently landed in Europe.
Tubi CEO Farhad Massoudi noted that Australia is a top market for the leading SVOD service, Netflix, but that Tubi expects to have the market much to itself in regard to AVOD, at least initially.
“I don't think any of the big AVOD platforms have launch there,” he said, noting that Australia also has a strong internet infrastructure and that the advertising market is “fairly mature.”
In a 2018 report on Netflix’s top streaming markets, Business Insider ranked Australia seventh, just behind Norway, noting that the SVOD giant had about 43% penetration into a market of more than 23 million consumers.
Tubi, which is privately funded with $26 million to date, is crediting heavy lifting for the Australian launch to a man who bills himself as the AVOD company's “international expansion consultant,” Josh Ismin.
Said by Tubi to be “no stranger to Australian video advertising,” Ismin founded video and ad platform TVN in Sydney back in 2010. Sold to Telaria in 2015, TVN now touts users including Foxtel, Network Ten, MCN and Southern Cross Austereo.