Originally posted on Forbes.com
Give me a penny for your thoughts, but trillions of pennies for your video. Once again big money is being paid for a free TV service, Tubi TV, this time. A few months ago Pluto sold for big money to Viacom. Now Tubi has sold to Fox (Fox is now made up of TV stations, cable assets, newspapers, and some digital properties after the rest of Fox was sold to Disney). Reportedly, Fox paid over $400 million for Tubi.
Unlike Netflix or Disney+, Tubi, Pluto and others are free services (or advertising supported as we like to say) or AVOD (Advertising Supported Video on Demand). Through these companies you can watch a plethora of tv shows, movies and other content. All free. All the time.
According to my research, conducted in the summer of last year, Pluto and Tubi was being used by about the same numbers of Americans (approx 6% of the majority of Americans that watch online video at least once a week or more). Another AVOD service, Xumo TV, was purchased by Comcast recently. My research shows that about half the number of people that watch Tubi, watch Xumo.
When you look at this data, you must ask the question, when (or if) will Crackle be bought? This service was started as Grouper many years ago and bought by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2006. Sony recently sold a majority of Crackle to CSS Entertainment and they are working together on video offerings. Time will tell if Sony and CSS will sell Crackle to another major media conglomerate. What other companies among the AVOD services will also be sold?