Tubi review

Tubi highlights

Tubi review

Tubi is an on-demand video streaming platform that provides a free alternative to popular paid-for services like Amazon Prime and Netflix. It has a decent collection of movies with a few standout Hollywood hits such as Catch Me If You Can and Coach Carter as well as a sizeable library of TV shows, with a particularly strong arsenal of thought-provoking documentaries like Citizen Four and Zeitgeist: The Movie. 

Tubi can’t compete with the libraries boasted by its bigger, paid-for competitors and is ad-supported, which means viewers will see ads before and sometimes during content. However, it does offer a worthwhile supplement to the likes of Amazon Prime Video or Netflix and could be an alternative for those on a budget.

Tubi launched in 2014 as the creation of two executives from AdRise, an internet-connected TV platform. By June 2019, the company had more than 20 million users

Is Tubi free?

Yes. Tubi provides access to a strong library of movies and shows for free but does require people to sign up before viewing. We put together a brief overview of Tubi’s service, looking at the amount of content available, how long ads last and where it can be watched.

On-demand content library20,000 movies and TV shows
Average time of ads30 seconds
Mobile appAndroid, iOS
Desktop viewMac, Windows

Why Tubi might be the right streaming service for you

Tubi is a great resource for anyone looking for a strong back catalog of popular classic movies. The service has made strides to enhance its streaming library and even invested $100 million in new content in 2019 — so viewing options should continue to improve and expand. It’s a good free video streaming service for people who want to cut the cable cord who don’t mind a few ads popping up here and there. 

User experience

Tubi’s platform operates scrollable rows of movies similar in style to most streaming services. The interface is easy to use and remembers the movie that viewers watched last on a particular platform.

Tubi is ad-supported and commonly features a 30-second commercial before a TV show begins and another one or two mid-way through. The occurrence of ads during movies is a little harder to predict. They can be as frequent as every 15 minutes, which is a fairly similar experience to watching movies and shows via a cable service.

Users can also create a list of content they want to watch by scrolling through titles and clicking Add To Queue.

Device compatibility

Tubi is available for free on the following devices:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Roku
  • Samsung
  • Web browser
  • Xbox One and Xbox 360

Tubi features you’ll love

We delved into Tubi to get a feel for how it works and to help users understand what they should expect from it.

Free on-demand streaming

Viewers who don’t mind watching a few ads can save themselves a small fortune by cutting the cord on cable and signing up for Tubi. It features a library with thousands of movies and TV shows, with a particular focus on classic films. It works as a core streaming service or as a supplement to the more modern, original content-filled libraries of Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and other similar choices. 

More of the same

Tubi has a solid recommendation engine that helps viewers discover new shows based on their most recent viewing habits. Look for the search feature at the top of the homepage. 

Content categorization

Tubi sorts movies into smart categories that make it easy to find content to watch, such as Award Winning Movies, Highly Rated On Rotten Tomatoes, Not On Netflix and Weekly Watchlist. Sections such as Cult Classics and Recently Added help viewers stay on top of the latest content on the platform.

Something for everyone

Diversity is central to Tubi’s appeal. In addition to relatively recent movies and classic films, the service offers a decent range of anime titles, children’s TV shows and cult comedies as well as documentaries and foreign-language movies and shows.

Commitment-free streaming

Tubi doesn’t cost a thing to use — nor does it require a credit card to register. If users don’t like the service, they can close their account and remove their details and history from the service.

What to watch on Tubi

The most popular movies available on Tubi include the Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hanks hit Catch Me If You Can, Samuel L Jackson’s classic basketball movie Coach Carter and The Family starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro. It also has a host of award-winning films, such as Hanks’ Cloud Atlas, Gold, John Grisham’s The Rainmaker starring Matt Damon and war drama Resistance.

There’s also a good choice of content for horror fans, including I Spit On Your Grave, both of its sequels and the 2010 remake of The Crazies. Other scary options include Johnny Depp’s Sleepy Hollow, several installments of the Saw franchise, and a host of chilling hits like The Convent, Oculus and You’re Next. Tubi also has a large catalog of straight to DVD and made for TV horror flicks.

For viewers looking for a Netflix supplement, Tubi’s Not On Netflix category includes movies like Chaos starring Jason Statham, Drillbit Taylor, Tom Cruise’s Minority Report and Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator.

Tubi also provides a wealth of interesting documentaries, including an exploration of the growth of punk rock in American Hardcore, Citizen Four, which focuses on whistleblower Edward Snowden, Crips and Bloods: Made In America, Jim: The James Foley Story and Meeting ISIS.

The takeaway

Tubi isn’t really in the same league as options such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, but it doesn’t pretend to be. In fact, the Not On Netflix categorization of its content shows that Tubi recognizes the service will most likely be used as a supplement to its wealthier competitors.

That said, Tubi offers a wealth of great content, from cult classics and award-winning movies to a strong collection of comedy and horror movies and interesting documentaries. And it costs nothing to use.

Rob Latham

Rob Latham is a writer focused on technology, music, entertainment and sports. He is particularly passionate about the role that technology plays in improving peoples’ lives and helping businesses to work more effectively. He’s written marketing content for global B2B technology brands and start-ups, founded his own music blog and is a regular contributor to soccer publications. His professional background is in content marketing, public relations and journalism, and he has a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism.