Fox Corp. this year bought video streaming service Tubi to expand its reach outside of linear TV, an acquisition that ended up being exceptionally well timed. Millions of people stuck at home during pandemic lockdowns have had more time to watch video on every screen, including advertising-based video on demand (AVOD) services like Tubi.

Marianne Gambelli, President of FOX Advertising Sales, sees Tubi as an opportunity for advertisers to reach younger audiences who are hooking up their TVs directly to the internet instead of paying for a cable or satellite subscription.

“Tubi delivers a younger, cord-cutter, cord-never audience that we just don’t reach on broadcast,” Gambelli said in an interview for the Beet TV/VAB “TV Reset” forum. “It fit perfectly with Fox’s assets.”

Tubi’s ads are shown in “pod” segments with fewer interruptions than on linear TV, which has longer ad blocks that are well suited for sports, news and other live programming, Gambelli said in a discussion with Catherine Sullivan, chief investment officer, North America, at Omnicom Media Group, about the advertising marketplace.

They agreed that “subscription fatigue” is a concern as the streaming media market gets crowded with paid services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, Apple TV+, Disney+ and ESPN+, among others. AVOD can provide high-quality programming without burdening households with another subscription fee.

Tubi this month appeared for the first time at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2020 NewFronts, a presentation that wasn’t planned earlier this year. The pandemic led the IAB to reschedule its annual week of sales presentations by digital content platforms from March.

That change in timing worked in Tubi’s favor after its acquisition that month by Fox, which has ample experience in upfront sales, as noted by Adweek.

Tubi touted its lineup of kids and family programming, as homebound parents seek shows that are safe for children. Tubi plans to stream shows from Lego, Mattel and the “Garfield” comics franchise. It also will carry animated series like “Henchmen,” “Monster Family,” “Big Fish & Begonia” and “The Magic Brush.”

In addition, Tubi this year will expand into Spanish-language programming with the launch of Tubi en Español, which will have more than 800 titles, Variety reported.

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