For all the attention the Streaming Wars get – and most of this is wrong – free TV is still huge in a world of Netflix and Disney+. And so it’s hardly surprising to see GoogleTV today announcing the addition of Tubi, Plex and Haystack News to its Live tab, giving what it says are over 800 free TV channels, all in one place.
They join Pluto TV, which was already integrated, as well as news channels from NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox.
“The new TV Guide collects all your new free TV channels and organizes them for easier and faster navigation.” writes Google’s Nick Staubach. “Whether you’re in the mood for true crime, classic TV reruns or your favorite cooking show, we’ve got you covered. Plus, you can save your “Favorites” at the top of your guide for quick and easy access next time.
This kind of free channel integration at the platform level (even across multiple providers) isn’t exactly new. That’s basically what you get with The Roku Channel on Roku devices, or the Live tab on Amazon Fire TV. The inclusion of Tubi and Pluto means that two of the major broadcasters (Fox and Paramount, respectively) have a foothold in Google’s hardware and many more eyeballs will see their advertising.
And the space is huge. The aforementioned services are in the “FAST” space – it’s an industry acronym that stands for free ad-supported streaming TV. Paramount’s Pluto TV was getting closer out of 89 million monthly active users at the end of 2022. Fox’s Tubi is over 64 million.
And that’s really what it’s all about. Google TV users get even more channels, shows, and movies front and center, and ad dollars continue to change hands in a world where subscription services care more about churn than anything else .