Tubi Touts Family-Friendly Programming During First-Ever NewFronts

Spanish-language channel and frequency management tool also coming to streamer

ken jeong
Tubi's first-ever NewFronts presentation has a major focus on family-friendly programming like The Masked Singer. Tubi

Key insights:

The two-month postponement of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2020 NewFronts has ended up working in Tubi’s favor.

Before the event was rescheduled from its usual March slot, the ad-supported free streamer wasn’t on the initial roster of presenters, and it hadn’t yet been acquired by Fox Corp. to become the shiny new streaming asset in that company’s portfolio. But a lot has changed in the interim, giving Tubi time to finalize the acquisition and throw its hat into the ring, strategizing with its new parent company on its message to marketers.

“We’re really excited with the timing of things,” said Mark Rotblat, chief revenue officer of Tubi, which reported record viewership in March. “This actually gave us some time over the last two months to really work together for this upfront cycle.”

Today, the streamer’s first-ever NewFronts message to marketers, which is taking place virtually on the same day as other streaming services like Crackle Plus and Hulu, is centered not just on its place in the broader Fox Corp. portfolio, but on the Fox content that’s making its way to the streamer. In addition to Fox reality hit The Masked Singer, which began airing on Tubi in late April, Tubi will stream the first season of the Fox Corp. fellow family hit Lego Masters this fall. It’s one of many family-friendly titles coming to Tubi in the fall as the streamer builds out its kids and family offering, which Rotblat said had been of particular interest to advertisers.

To that end, Tubi is leaning even more into kids and family titles. Animated titles like Henchmen, Monster Family, Big Fish & Begonia and The Magic Brush are all coming to Tubi to stream for the first time later this year; the streamer is also bringing more titles from the Lego, Mattel and Garfield franchises to the streamer in the coming months. The service has also landed the rights to six films starring the animated character Anpanman, star of one of the most popular anime series among children in Japan.

“A lot of advertisers want to align with families and family content right now, in part because we’re all at home together,” Rotblat said.

Some of those titles, including The Magic Brush, will be available in Spanish, which will help bolster an upcoming offering on Tubi: Spanish-language programming. Tubi en Español will come online later this year, the streamer announced today, with more than 800 titles and 3,000 hours of Spanish-language programming.

In addition to kids programming and its upcoming Spanish-language channel, Tubi is emphasizing reality television offerings, Black cinema and other multicultural programming.

“Our value to consumers is the discovery and going deep into libraries, and a lot of time what gets discussed during upfronts are the top shiny titles,” Rotblat said. “Luckily, we have both, so part of our thinking is to focus on the genres that are really strong on Tubi.”

While content is king during the NewFronts and upfronts, new advertising capabilities are also a major focus. That’s why Tubi is pushing out a new advanced frequency management tool for advertisers, which uses artificial intelligence to scan creative and identify the brands in different advertisements. The tool, aimed at preventing double spotting at the campaign level, works if marketers upload at least some of their creative through direct buys; the feature will then make determinations about delivering those advertisements by comparing that creative to those coming in through other supply sources like aggregators and ad networks.

“Instead of telling people to stop buying from multiple sources, you can keep buying from different ad networks and aggregators, but buy some with us directly because then we know which assets are managed through your campaign,” Rotblat said.

Tubi is also unveiling direct integrations with a number of major demand-side platforms, including Amobee, Adelphic, Adobe Ad Cloud and The Trade Desk. The updates are aimed at helping solve for concerns around ad frequency and helping advertisers get closer to the ad supply, while leaving room for flexible buying.

“The challenges we’re hearing that we’re responding to are around brand safety, getting closer to the ad supply, and addressing ad frequency and repetition in OTT, so it’s exciting to give that flexibility and give buyers what they want,” Rotblat said.

Tubi’s first-ever NewFronts presentation comes as streamers of all stripes look to woo marketers whose needs continue to shift due to the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. The ad-supported streamer’s debut presentation comes the same year that Fox Corp. chose not to present an upfront and instead focus on smaller conversations with advertisers.

That said, Rotblat will emphasize Tubi’s value not just as a standalone buy, but as a component of a broader buy across the Fox portfolio.

“It’s always one of those scrambles for buyers working through broadcast and cable and digital, and it’s even more uncertain times now,” Rotblat said, “so it’s very valuable for buyers to be able to look across the portfolio and not have to do things piecemeal.”

Adweek will be covering the NewFronts presentation by presentation this week. Follow along with all of our coverage here.

@kelseymsutton kelsey.sutton@adweek.com Kelsey Sutton is the streaming editor at Adweek, where she covers the business of streaming television.