NBCUniversal’s move came several days after the limited launch of it Peacock streaming service, while Fox’s deal closed around a year after most of the company’s film and television assets were purchased by Disney. Terms of NBCUniversal’s Vudu acquisition were undisclosed. Fox’s Tubi deal amounted to $440 million and was previously announced on March 17. Though Vudu began producing original projects in 2019, both Vudu and Tubi are primarily known for their large libraries of older films and television shows.
The two deals further solidify a trend that has been made increasingly apparent in the entertainment industry over the last year: Content is king, and companies need an ever-increasing amount of it to keep customers engaged, according to Brad Gastwirth, Wedbush Securities’ chief technology strategist. In NBCUniversal’s case, it’s possible that FandangoNow and Vudu could be combined in some way in the future but Gastwirth said he had no concerns NBCUniversal’s various services competing with one another.
“I don’t see much overlap with Vudu, FandangoNow, and Peacock,” Gastwirth said in an interview. “Having 10,000 titles broadens and deepens the company’s overall content and the most important thing in this age is ensuring the subscribers want to use your services. Offering different kinds of content is something that all of these providers need and want because content is king.”
NBCUniversal is still gearing up for Peacock’s national launch on July 15 and also operates the FandangoNow service, which the company said would continue operating as usual for at least several months.
While NBCUniversal and parent company Comcast have long had significant investments in entertainment industry, Fox has been something of a Hollywood outsider since Disney acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019. Though Fox launched its Fox Nation streaming service in 2018, the conglomerate has not had as active a hand in film and television production as many of its mass media peers.
Like NBCUniversal’s Vudu acquisition, the Fox-Tubi deal will likely help the conglomerate appeal to new demographics who might not otherwise engage with Fox’s content, according to Gastwirth.
“All of these older companies that have been traditional media powerhouses need to reinvigorate themselves to appeal to different demographics,” Gastwirth said. “These old, large conglomorates need to offer and have more products in their arsenal. (Tubi) is a platform that allows them to reach more and at the end of the day you have to be relevant for more than just the traditional consumer.”