US streaming giant Tubi -- which has been dubbed "the free Netflix" -- is to launch a children's network next week and expand its main service into Europe next year, it announced Monday.

Tubi Kids will begin showing 1,200 hours of children's television series and films next Monday, with the the world's biggest advert-supported free streaming platform set to move into the UK early in the New Year.

CEO Farhad Massoudi hinted services would quickly follow for continental Europe.

San Francisco-based Tubi said that its library of children's movies include "How to Train Your Dragon", "Norm of the North", and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows".

It said they would be shown alongside series like "Strawberry Shortcake", "Paddington Bear" and "The Wiggles", and many more.

They call it 'the free Netflix'
They call it 'the free Netflix' GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Eugene Gologursky

"We're ramping up our international expansion with the UK launch being the first of several forthcoming territories and look forward to announcing them soon," Massoudi said at MIPCOM in Cannes, France, the world's biggest television content market.

He said Tubi Kids would create "an age-appropriate viewing environment", a dig at rivals YouTube, which is watched by millions of children.

Tubi's expansion comes as a wave of streaming services launch across the world in what has become known as the "streaming wars" to take on Neflix and Amazon.

Ad-supported Pluto TV is already available in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and Switzerland.

And next month Disney and Apple are going head-to-head with the launch of their subscription video-on-demand services Disney+ and AppleTV+.

They will be followed by the British platform Britbox, which has been put together by the country's traditional broadcasters the BBC and ITV.