Tubi TV is an American-based free streaming service that is trying to compete with industry giants Netflix and Hulu.
This FOX-owned service offers on-demand TV and movies as well as limited live TV news and sports programming. It’s one of the top apps for free streaming content in 2023.
Instead of asking for a credit card, user log in and monthly subscription fee, Tubi is giving its content away for free. In exchange for the freebies, Tubi asks its users to sit through intermittent commercial breaks.
Everything You Need To Know About Tubi TV
It may seem ambitious to take on paid streaming services without creating original or live content, but Tubi is banking on users wanting simple on-demand functionality without obligation.
Table of Contents
- What Is Tubi TV?
- How To Watch Tubi TV
- Content Available on Tubi TV
- User Experience for Tubi TV
- Final Thoughts
ABOUT THIS REVIEW: Did someone say “free content”? Team Clark is always looking for ways to help you save more and spend less, so we decided to investigate the Tubi streaming service a bit more. For the purposes of this review, I downloaded the Tubi app on my phone, tablet and streaming device and immersed myself in the content and user experience. I hope what I found will be helpful as you decide whether or not this service is right for you.
This review is one of many we conducted as part of our free streaming TV series. You can learn more about our strategies for getting free streaming TV below.
What Is Tubi TV?
Tubi is a free streaming service that offers a mix of on-demand content like TV series and movies and live streaming channels.
In exchange for the lack of a monthly subscription, Tubi inserts advertisements and commercials into the content to generate revenue. Tubi does not create original content. Instead, it relies on thousands of hours worth of content from studios including MGM, Paramount and Lionsgate.
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in San Francisco, the United States-based company also serves Canada and Australia. In 2020, it was announced that FOX had acquired Tubi for $440 million. Per a report from the Los Angeles Times, Tubi had approximately 25 million monthly active users at the time of the acquisition.
How To Watch Tubi TV
Tubi is available to stream through a regular internet browser, making it available to most devices that connect to the web. However, it has apps that are native to phones, tablets, streaming devices and smart TVs that may enhance your viewing experience.
Sign-Up Is NOT Required
Unlike some of its competitors, Tubi does not require that you sign up for an account to enjoy the content. You just go to TubiTV.com, choose some content and enjoy the show. It’s really that simple.
However, Tubi does offer a free sign-up process that could enhance your user experience. Making an account with the service gives you the ability to start a queue of content to watch and resume watching later from where you left off. That could be particularly handy, for example, if you start watching something on your phone and want to finish it on your television.
App and Devices
Tubi has an app that is available on both Android and iOS devices. This can be used for phones and tablets. Those devices also can cast content from the app to a television.
Tubi is available on the following streaming devices:
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast
- Xbox One
- PlayStation 4
- Xfinity X1
- Android TV
- Cox Contour
- Amazon Fire TV
- Xbox Series X
- PlayStation 5
It is also compatible with Sony, VIZIO and Samsung smart TVs.
Content Available To Stream on Tubi
Tubi focuses primarily on movies and television series. While there is some newer content available, many users may find that the overall catalog is a bit dated. That’s part of the consequence of not paying for the content, I suppose.
Knowing that major studios like Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate are providing content, I was right to assume there would be a pretty robust selection of films. You’ll find plenty of recognizable actors on the streaming service.
The movies available on this service rotate often, so make sure to act quickly if you see a title that you like.
Here’s a sampling of the variety of films available in March 2023:
- Air Force One
- Miami Vice
- For Richer or Poorer
- Happy Gilmore
- John Henry
- Man on Fire
- Liar Liar
- Rush Hour
- Legally Blonde
Popular titles such as Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, Teen Wolf, The Aviator, Maid in Manhattan and Major League have appeared on the service in the past.
Popular TV Series
With access to the A&E television library, you’ll find that there is a healthy amount of reality TV series. If you’re not into that type of content, you may find that many of the TV series lacking.
Here’s a sampling of the TV series available on Tubi as of March 2023:
- Duck Dynasty
- Hell’s Kitchen
- Storage Wars
- The Dick Van Dyke Show
- Unsolved Mysteries
- The Beverly Hillbillies
- I Dream of Jeannie
- The Johnny Carson Show
- The Bernie Mac Show
Shows such as Dog the Bounty Hunter, American Pickers and The Apprentice have appeared on the service in the past.
Live TV on Tubi
Following the lead of free streaming competitors such as Pluto TV, you can now stream live channels on Tubi at no additional cost.
This live streaming content is broken down into two major sections: sports and news.
The news channel options include:
- ABC News Live
- NBC News NOW
- LiveNOW from FOX
- FOX Weather
The sports channel options include:
- Fox Sports (Note: This is not the regional sports networks now known as Bally Sports.)
- NFL Channel (Note: This is not the NFL Network.)
- MLB Channel (Note: This is not the MLB Network.)
- PAC-12 Insider
- USA TODAY SportsWire
Tubi for Kids
If you have children in the house, Tubi could be an entertainment solution for them as well. In fact, Tubi has one of the better selections of free kids’ content.
You can switch the Tubi experience to “Tubi for Kids” from the main menu on the app or website and then cut them loose to search through content that has been curated for children.
You’ll find some recognizable names in the animated space such as The Flintstones, Space Dogs, Casper the Friendly Ghost and Sonic the Hedgehog.
One of the areas in which Tubi has shown the most growth recently is in its collection of original content.
After making the commitment to grow that library following its acquisition of the platform, FOX followed through in 2022. There now is a section of content dedicated to movies made specifically for Tubi.
I spotted close to 50 movie titles under the “Tubi Originals” tab on the app. And while they’re not necessarily award-winning productions, you will spot some recognizable actors including Bruce Willis and William Baldwin.
User Experience for Tubi TV
Aside from content options, much of the apprehension about trying a free streaming service in place of a service like Netflix is the potential for a drop in the quality of user experience.
How Bad Are the Ads?
I sat down to watch a couple of different types of movies on Tubi to better understand the ad experience. The first was an animated film that I watched through Roku. I was shocked to find that I did not come across my first commercial break until nearly 40 minutes into the movie.
That seemed almost too good to be true, so I decided to chart the ads on the next movie. I watched a two-hour film using my laptop computer. Here’s a look at the results for the ads:
Movie Commercial Breakdown
|Time of Commercial||Number of Ads|
Five fairly short commercial breaks in a two-hour span actually seems pretty reasonable for a free service.
Here are a couple more things I noticed about the ads that may be useful:
- I saw the same Sam’s Club commercial featuring Olympic runner Usain Bolt during all five commercial breaks. That was annoying, but I found a way to fix it. On the bottom-right corner of the screen, there is an “i” that you can touch for more information on the ad. That screen gives you an option to both report a commercial and ask to stop seeing it.
- Another issue I had with the ads was the unpredictability of their arrival. With some other free services, such as IMDb TV, you can look at the progress bar on the content and see little notches that signify an upcoming commercial interruption. Tubi, on the other hand, inserts them into the content without warning.
- Once you’re in a commercial break, there is a way to track how much longer it will take until the content returns. In the lower-left portion of your screen, there is a small circular graphic that says “ad.” As the commercials play, a red progress bar wraps around the circle as pictured below. Once it returns to the top, the content resumes.
Tubi’s user interface is pretty straightforward on all platforms and easy to navigate. The homepage is clean and features a myriad of categories from which to choose content.
I found that, if you want to avoid excessive scrolling on the web version of Tubi, accessing the menu bar at the top left of the screen is a great shortcut. You’ll also notice the search bar is easily accessible directly above the menu.
The app experience is a little bit different. You have the option to browse by categories and search for topics, but you navigate through the bottom of the screen as pictured below.
One category that I appreciated was the “Leaving Soon!” area. Free services such as Tubi have content that comes and goes, so I think it is nice to have a designated area where users can get a “last chance” of sorts to view a show or movie before it goes away.
Tips for Enjoying Tubi TV
Has some of the available content caught your attention? Here are some tips for enjoying it on Tubi TV:
- Sign up for the optional account: Tubi doesn’t require that you sign up to use the product, but the benefits are probably worth it if you plan to use it often. You will be able to build a queue of content to watch, pick up where you left off on a stream and receive customized recommendations for content.
- Utilize the variety of streaming options: I was pleasantly surprised that the user experience on my laptop, phone, tablet and streaming device stayed very consistent. There was no drop-off in streaming quality, user interface, etc. One advantage to this service is that you can access it from pretty much anywhere.
- Time up the commercial breaks: One of my major complaints was that you never quite know when an advertisement will pop up on this service. But one of the advantages to when it does pop up is that the commercial break length is somewhat predictable. If you have something you need to do while watching content, know you’ll have 60-90 seconds to leave the room once the ads begin.
Final Thoughts on Tubi TV
Still trying to decide whether or not you should add Tubi TV to your streaming options? Here are some pros and cons to think over:
Tubi TV: Pros and Cons
|FREE!||Content library is a bit dated|
|Content from major film studios||No way to anticipate commercial breaks|
|Intuitive app and web streaming options|
While you may not be able to find the latest and greatest content, Tubi TV is worth serious consideration if you’re looking to enjoy streaming content without a monthly bill. There is no original content, but there are thousands of hours’ worth of material from major content producers. The ease of use and lack of a need to sign up makes it an easy product to consume on your own terms.
Do you have experience watching the Tubi TV streaming service? We’d love to hear your thoughts in our Clark.com community!