Cutting the Cord? You Need to Know About Tubi

Posted on June 19, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos, Smart Home with 19 Comments

Cord-cutters are familiar with popular services like Netflix and Hulu. But many have probably never heard about Tubi.

So let’s fix that.

Tubi is a free but ad-supported movie and TV service that has a library of about 7,500 titles and is supported by the studios Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount, and Starz. It’s available virtually everywhere you’ll want it—on mobile and in the living room via Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Xbox, and PlayStation—and there’s even a web version.

There’s no catch. No, not even the ads, which are actually pretty innocuous in my couple of days of experience. In fact, they’re less of an interruption than some of the ads I’ve seen on paid services like PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV.

Well, I guess there is one catch: If you live in Europe, you’re currently out of luck because of GDPR. But Tubi will be up and running there soon, too.

The quality of the content library is actually decent. Yes, there is absolutely some crap. But if you look at Netflix today and remove all of the original content and compare what’s left to Tubi, it would be a close call.

Tubi might even come out ahead: I’ve added reasonably-decent movies like Out of Time, Sliver, Europa Report, Suspect Zero, The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Clear and Present Danger, and others to my own queue. And I haven’t really browsed the TV section yet. (Actually, The IT Crowd is there.) Yes, there is some schlock. There’s tons of that on Netflix too, and we pay for that service.

Navigation is excellent, and the service offers many obvious categories (including a nice one called “Not on Netflix”) and search.

Can Tubi replace a Netflix or Hulu? No. But it’s a great addition to whatever library of content apps you’re currently using. And if you’re on Apple TV, like I am, Tubi integrates with the TV app.

There is absolutely zero reason not to check this out.


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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Cutting the Cord? You Need to Know About Tubi”

  1. TheSchmed

    In my experience, all of the Free-with-ads channels get the same movies at the same time, which means that Vudu's "Free With Ads" section does the same thing, and the Vudu app can be a one-stop-shop. For those on Roku, "The Roku channel" also serves the same purpose.

    PS, why does your comment system block me from posting a link to Vudu's website?

    • gibber

      A lot of them get most of the same stuff at the same time (e.g. filmrise, popcornflix), but Tubi is pretty different. They add new stuff almost every day, and it is often unique.


    It has been a long time since I saw a tip for a service this good (to know about and use). I am wondering how it was discovered, and how long it has been available, and why have I never heard of it before anywhere but here?

  3. ErichK

    Just browsing, I didn't see too much aside from The IT Crowd (which I already watch on Hulu), but "The Commodore Story" looks like a possibly interesting documentary.

  4. bleeman

    Tubi is also available on TiVo devices which makes it real easy to watch on the TV

  5. Chris_Kez

    As I find myself doing often lately on this site I have to again mention Vudu, which also has a whole section for "free with ads" content. In addition to all other platforms it even has a Windows 10 app.

  6. Skolvikings

    Pro tip: You can use a software program called PlayOn to legally record movies and shows from services such as Tubi to your desktop. Then you can either use Plex or the PlayOn app on your streaming device (Roku, Fire TV, etc.) to watch the movies or shows. If you use the PlayOn app, it has a feature which will automatically skip the commercials.

  7. Corbey

    The Fire TV has started recommending Tubi as an alternative source for some content. I think it's one of the Amazon "channels" and seems to be included when you ask Alexa to search for a title.

  8. Travis

    How about Crackle? They have the sequel to the critically acclaimed Joe Dirt. Joe Dirt 2 Beautiful Loser.

  9. lefnewin

    I have been using Tubi TV from last four months. Its been a nice experience with it. Tubi TV offers Live TV along with movies and TV shows sections. Recently I have also tried FreeFlix TV which is the best application to watch live TV for free. This application also also offers VOD section which contains latest movies and TV shows.