San Francisco-based Tubi TV just got a big boost in its efforts to become a major streaming destination for free, ad-supported movies: Tubi TV corporate parent Adrise has closed a new $6 million round of financing, with Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer joining new investor Cota Capital as well as existing investors Foundation Capital, Bobby Yazdani, Mark Amin, and Noosheen and Zod Nazem.
The two studios aren’t just pouring money into Adrise: Both have also struck licensing agreements that will bring hundreds of catalog titles to Tubi TV, including movies like “Midnight Cowboy,” “Crash,” “Rain Man,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Pink Panther,” “Fargo,” and “American Psycho.”
Adrise also announced Thursday that former Fox Television chairman and current Phase 2 Media CEO Sandy Grushow has joined the company’s board of directors.
Adrise originally launched in 2011 with the goal of building ad-supported streaming channels for a number of partners. But in 2014, the company took its fate into its own hands with the launch of Tubi TV, a free and ad-supported streaming service that’s now available on a number of streaming devices, including Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, Xbox and the new Apple TV.
At launch, Tubi TV offered viewers around 20,000 titles, with quite a few B-Movies being part of the catalog — a fact that the service has embraced with its own Grindhouse category. But more recently, Tubi TV has started to make inroads with major studios: In May, Adrise announced a licensing deal with Paramount that has allowed it to add some well-known classics, including titles like “Top Gun,” “Basic Instinct,” “Total Recall” and “Star Trek: The Final Frontier”.
Titles typically rotate in and out, but Tubi TV now has a total of 40,000 movies and TV show episodes available for viewing, and Adrise Director of marketing Kevin Leu said in an interview with Variety that views on the platform have grown 400 percent within the last 12 months.
Leu went on to describe the growing interest in Tubi TV as part of a larger consumption trend towards unbundled and ad-supported online services. “Over the last six months, almost a million people have unsubscribed from pay TV,” he said, adding: “People are tired of paying.”