Gambelli Says Tubi Rounds Out Fox’s Media Assets

Fox acquired ad-supported streaming service Tubi in March, but the programmer is already bringing it to market in the upfront conversations it’s having with clients.

“Tubi was the perfect complement for our set of assets,” said Marianne Gambelli, who became president of ad sales after The Walt Disney Co. bought 21st Century Fox last year, leaving a “new Fox” consisting of the Fox broadcast network, Fox News and Fox Sports.

Marianne Gambelli

Marianne Gambelli

Clients could potentially still buy their mass media on Fox’s broadcast and cable assets, and do more precision marketing to more tightly targeted consumers via Tubi.

“We were mostly focused on linear, so it rounded out our portfolio, giving us the younger audience, giving us the tech and the addressable inventory that we didn’t really have in the assets that remained at new Fox,” Gambelli said. “So it was actually a strategic purchase that made 100% sense helping us expand our portfolio in the marketplace.”

Fox has been bringing Tubi to media buyers as part of its upfront conversations.

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“Every client that we've kind of talked to is very excited about it,” Gambelli said. “This space is exploding. It’s younger, and there’s less commercialization. I think we’ll learn about that and maybe we migrate some of that innovation to Fox. Addressable is obviously becoming more important as data becomes more available and more actionable.”

Since Fox acquired it, Tubi has been adding content, including The Masked Singer, now the most popular show on the platform. It may also be adding local content from Fox stations in some markets.

Tubi ad sales are led by Tubi’s chief revenue officer, Mark Rotblat. He reports to Gambelli just like the executives in charge of selling the company’s news, sports and entertainment verticals. Because of its content, it will be most closely aligned with the entertainment vertical, Gambelli said.

The idea is to give Tubi its own focus, but at the same time, it fits nicely into different parts of Fox, Gambelli said.

Fox intends to take advantage of Tubi’s technology and the relationship it has with its viewers.

“They know their audience. As they learn your behaviors, they serve up content that they know you’re interested in,” she said. “You’re going to see what Fox does best in terms of content end up on Tubi but again keeping Tubi’s customer-focused experience.”

In this business environment, more targeted media might be an easier sell to advertisers. “It’s easier to justify because it’s targeted and you know you’re reaching that customer” and can demonstrate return on investment, Gambelli said. 

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.