Streaming service Tubi launches in Australia on September 1, initially offering nearly 7,000 movies and TV series for free for anyone who is prepared to watch 2-4 minutes of ads per hour.

Australia is the US-owned VOD platform’s first market outside North America. Tubi CEO Farhad Massoudi tells IF he chose Australia because it has among the highest penetration rates of Netflix subscribers outside the US and is a mature advertising market.

The San Francisco-based company has secured Australian rights to a raft of movies including 3:10 to Yuma, The Blair Witch Project, Kickboxer and Stranger Than Fiction, with such titles as Dirty Dancing, The Grudge, Requiem for a Dream, Reservoir Dogs, Saw, Traffic and Young Guns to roll out over the next six months.

“We see Tubi as complementary to other streaming services as linear TV viewing continues to decline and on-demand viewing grows,” he says.

“We have the far largest library and it will be personalised to each customer’s tastes. We’re excited to offer Tubi in Australia as the first of many launch initiatives to advance our global footprint.”

Launched in 2014, Tubi has content deals spanning 15,000 titles with more than 200 suppliers including MGM and Lionsgate (which are both investors in the privately-held company), NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia, Paramount Pictures and Miramax.

Farhad Massoudi.

In North America Tubi offers some Australian films and while it has not yet acquired any local content for Oz, Massoudi says he plans to do so.

He intends to quickly ramp up the Australian content in size and quality to approach that of its home service.

Tubi reported it had more than 20 million monthly active users in May and that customers watched 94 million hours of content that month, a company record.

Australians can access Tubi via Telstra TV, Tubi.TV, Internet-connected screens including Samsung TVs, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Apple iOS as well as Android tablets and smartphones. The service will also be available via game consoles including PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The firm has long-standing relationships with such major video ad platforms as The Trade Desk, Adobe, Verizon Media Group and Telaria, which the CEO says will be key partners for driving ads on Tubi in Australia.

Josh Ismin, who in 2010 founded video ad platform TVN, which serviced companies including Foxtel, Network Ten, MCN and Southern Cross Austereo, is assisting with the Australian launch.

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