Fox’s Ad-Supported Tubi Streaming Service Unveils New Logo

Tubi, Fox Corp.’s ad-supported streaming service, is rolling out a new brand logo as it continues to expand it scale among U.S. household TV streamers. In January, Tubi increased its share of total TV viewing to 1.5% — ahead of The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, Max and Paramount+, according to Nielsen.

The new Tubi brand identity features “more vibrant colors and iconography across all consumer touchpoints, including new sonic branding that has a bright, playful tone,” according to Tubi. The updated homepage and UI symbols aim to bring more dimension to the traditional content grid, including a nod to the Tubi rabbit hole, first introduced in the 2023 Super Bowl campaign, according to the service.

Developed in partnership with design agency Dixon Baxi, the new brand identity will begin rolling out to all supported platforms across all markets starting Feb. 28.

“In this new brand system, we wanted to give viewers a fun, bold and engaging platform,” Nicole Parlapiano, CMO at Tubi, said in a statement.

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Fox reports that 63% of Tubi streamers are cord cutters and cord nevers, and 30% are unreachable on other major free ad-supported VOD services, according to the November 2023 MRI-Simmons’ Cord Evolution Study. Tubi’s growth has continued to gain momentum among younger, diverse and female viewers, with 60% growth in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic, 55% growth in multicultural demos, including Latino, African American and LGBT audiences, and 63% growth in female audiences, year over year.

Tubi recently announced a new programming slate focused on culturally resonant content, which includes “Shattered Glass: A WNBA Story,” showcasing four WNBA players through their journey into the heart of professional women’s basketball, the BBC’s British coming-of-age dramedy “Boarders,” and the comedy-thriller series “Dead Hot.”

Additional titles available on the service include “Scandal,” “The Edge of Seventeen,” “Batwoman,” “ATL” and “Frances Ha,” among others.

U.K. Ad-Supported Streaming Video, PVOD Markets to Increase Revenue 20% in 2024

The introduction of advertising-supported subscription video tiers in the U.K. is projected to add $253.6 million (£200m) in value to the country’s home entertainment market in 2024, according to new data from the British Association for Screen Entertainment. The U.K. home entertainment trade group contends that premium video revenue, which includes hybrid SVOD advertising, AVOD and free ad-supported streaming television, will increase 20% to more than $2 billion (£1.6 billion) from $1.69 billion in 2023.

In addition to nascent ad-supported options for Netflix and Disney+, Prime Video is rolling out an ad-supported SVOD option in the U.K. ITV, which co-owns SVOD platform BritBox with BBC Studios, launched branded ad-supported free streaming platform ITVX last month.

The surge in ad-supported streaming video options has rise driven consumer uptake in both free ad-supported and subscription services, where 19.3 million U.K. homes (67.3%) accessed a SVOD service in Q3 2023, an increase of half a million from the previous Q2 fiscal period.

The average U.K. home subscribed to 2.9 video streaming services in 2023. 

Overall, the U.K. screen industry revenue (including theatrical and pay-TV) increased 5.6% to $15.84 billion from $15 billion in 2022.

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Netflix’s Ad-Supported SVOD Plan Reportedly Tops 1 Million Subscribers

After a slow start, Netflix’s lower-priced, ad-supported subscription streaming VOD plan is beginning to gain traction, reportedly topping 1 million subscribers since debuting on Nov. 3, 2022.

While Netflix executives have tempered expectations for the $6.99 month “Basic With Ads” subscription tier that includes upwards of five minutes of ads per hour of programming, the subscriber tally suggests consumers are warming to the option.

Netflix, which ended 2022 with more than 230 million global subscribers, is offering the ad-supported option in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Wall Street analysts believe the streamer could eventually attract upwards of 30 million ad-supported VOD subscribers — some driven to the option as Netflix cracks down on password sharing worldwide.

The new ad-supported subs tally, according to Bloomberg, which cited seeing internal data, was echoed by new co-CEO Greg Peters on last month’s fiscal call. Peters characterized consumer response as “solid,” adding that the price elasticity of demand (measurement of the change in consumption of a product in relation to a change in its price) remained promising.

“It’s better than we modeled, and that’s a great sort of fundamental starting point for us to work with,” Peters said. “I expect to see that continue to actually grow over the year.”

Notably, Peters said most of the ad-supported subs are not transitioning from the higher-priced plans, including the $15.49 standard and $19.99 premium plans. The ad-supported plans doesn’t offer the same access to content as the ad-free plans.

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Regardless, Peters remains upbeat on the initial the progress, which includes partnering with Microsoft to sell ads.

“These are all really good initial sort of progress points, but I think it’s important to reiterate that … we’re crawling and we’d like to get to sort of move to the walking phase [of functionality],” he said. “We’ve got a lot to do to get there.”

For Matt Spiegel, EVP of media and entertainment vertical at consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion, said Netflix’s ad-supported subscriber growth portends well for advertisers typically accustomed to legacy media networks upfronts showcasing content, talent and ad opportunities in the U.S.

“For being first-time entrants into the ad-supported streaming business, there’s nothing wrong with Netflix’s [sub growth] progress, and in a few years they might have a massively successful ad-tiered audience,” Spiegel said.

But to those expecting Netflix’s ad-supported SVOD tier to be an overnight home run, they may be disappointed, according to Spiegel.

“Netflix’s competition for material ad dollars isn’t against the other ad-supported platforms, it’s against the networks that have both linear TV and streaming assets like the Walt Disney Co. (Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu), Fox Corporation (Tubi), Comcast (Peacock), etc.,” Spiegel said.

Study: Majority of Consumers Willing to See Ads for Cheaper Streaming

The majority of viewers are willing to endure ads in order to pay less for streaming services, according to the Q4 2022 Hub “TV Advertising: Fact vs. Fiction” study of U.S. consumers.

In the study, 57% of respondents said they’d rather watch ads and pay $4 to $5 less per month for a streaming service. Preference for less-expensive ad-supported tiers over more-expensive ad-free tiers has remained relatively stable over the past year.

The majority of consumers in the survey also said that, given the choice, they would opt for a platform that offered them the option of both ad-free and ad-supported tiers. When asked to choose between three hypothetical TV services, viewers who were given the option to choose a platform with tiered service — some with ads, some without — did so nearly two times as often as those shown a platform that only offered “limited ads.”

As Netflix and Disney+ have recently released new ad-supported tiers, some subscribers said they plan to switch to ads, and non-subscribers said they were considering signing up. In the survey, 35% of current Disney+ subscribers and 24% of current Netflix subscribers said they anticipate switching their subscription tier when the new ad-supported options become available.

In tandem with the release of its ad-supported tier, Disney+ is also raising the price of its ad-free offering, from $7.99 to $10.99 per month. More than one in 10 Disney+ subscribers in the survey said they think they’ll drop the service entirely.

The ad-supported tiers are also drumming up interest among viewers who are not currently subscribers. In the survey, 22% of Disney+ non-subscribers said they think they’ll sign up for Disney+ once the new ad-supported tier is available. A similar 22% of Netflix non-subscribers said they anticipate signing up for Netflix service, including 15% who anticipate signing up for the ad-supported tier.

AVOD services offer the most “reasonable” ad-supported viewing experience and draw the most engagement with advertising, according to respondents. In the survey, subscribers to the ad-supported tiers of Discovery+ and HBO Max were the most likely to feel the number of ads they saw during a show they watched recently was “reasonable” — nearly three times higher than for Live TV on an MVPD.

Those two platforms were also at the top of the list when consumers were asked how much attention they paid to the ads they saw during a show. In the survey, 37% of Discovery+ and HBO Max viewers said they gave the ads their nearly “complete” attention.

Viewers who enjoy their overall viewing experience (including the ad load, break length, and other considerations) report paying attention to most of the ads more often than those who enjoyed their overall experience less.

Shorter ad breaks were the top characteristic that respondents said would make them more likely to pay attention to an ad, followed by rewards for watching, and shorter ad length and just a single ad in a break (tied).

Free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) services continue to gain users, and made-for-FAST original content is getting noticed, according to the survey. In Q4 2022, 65% of consumers said they use at least one FAST service such Pluto TV, the free version of Peacock, the Roku Channel, TubiTV, Freevee, etc. Usage continues to tick up over time, posting a 10-percentage-point gain over Q2 2021.

FAST services’ investment in original programming is starting to gain traction as 34% of current FAST users and 19% of non-users said they have heard of original shows or movies that were produced specifically for a free service. The most recalled FAST original titles were Roku Channel’s Weird: The Al Yankovic Story and Freevee’s “Leverage: Redemption.” In addition, 47% of current FAST users and 30% of non-users said they’d be more likely to use a FAST service if they heard it was producing original, exclusive content.

The Hub survey of 3,001 U.S. consumers aged 14-74 was conducted in November 2022 who watched at least 1 hour of TV per week.

Report: Combined AVOD/SVOD Services to Drive Global Platform Sub Growth

Global SVOD subscriptions will increase by 428 million to reach 1.76 billion through 2028, spearheaded by U.S. streaming services, according to new data from Digital TV Research.

The London-based firm estimates Netflix will provide its hybrid ad-supported SVOD subscription option in 85 countries over the next six years, with the ad-supported Disney+ in 91 countries, HBO Max in 55 and Paramount+ in 56. These include pan-regional services in Spanish-speaking Latin America and also in the Arabic-speaking countries.

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These four platforms collectively will have 372 million AVOD/SVOD subscribers by 2028 — or 56% of their total subscriber base.

Simon Murray

Given that Disney+ subscribers in most markets are expected to convert automatically to the ad-supported SVOD tier, the platform will have 206 million subs to this option by 2028 — or 88% of its total sub base. At the other end of the scale, 24% of Netflix’s total subs will pay for the hybrid ad-supported SVOD — or 63 million.

“Netflix has a large base of SVOD-only subscribers. Most of these subscribers will remain on these plans, despite the ad-supported tier being considerably cheaper,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “The hybrid tier will appeal most to developing countries where disposable incomes are lower. The hybrid tier will also be attractive to new subscribers that do not have legacy SVOD-only subscriptions.”

HBO Max, Discovery+ Offering Black Friday Deals on Ad-Supported Tiers

Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max and Discovery+ are offering Black Friday deals on their ad-supported tiers through Nov. 28.

For new and returning customers in the United States, the ad-supported tier of HBO Max will be offered at $1.99 per month for the first three months — equivalent to 80% off the regular price of the ad-supported tier.

The offer is available via HBOMax.com or through Apple, Amazon, Google Play and Roku. Vizio, PlayStation, LG, and Xbox devices also offer more information. 

Discovery+ will be available for 99 cents a month for the first three months of the ad-supported tier for new customers in the United States and Canada — equivalent to 80% off the current price of the ad-supported tier. 

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The offer is available via discoveryplus.com or through Apple, Amazon, Google Play and Roku. Viewers can also learn more about the offer on LG, Xbox, and Cox Contour devices.

Hub: Consumers Embrace Streaming Video Advertising

Consumer migration toward ad-supported VOD and free ad-supported streaming television continues to flourish. New data from Hub Entertainment found a 10% spike in second-quarter (ended June 30) survey respondents using ad-supported streaming video platforms such as Pluto TV, the free version of Peacock, the Roku Channel, Tubi and Freevee, among others, since the end of 2021.

The May survey included responses from 3,004 U.S. consumers who watch at least one hour of TV per week.

The report found that 55% of respondents said they use at least one free ad-supported TV streaming service. Another 42% subscribe to the ad-supported tier of a streaming on-demand subscription service such as Hulu, Discovery+, Paramount+, Peacock or HBO Max. Subscriptions to those ad-supported tiers is up 4% since the end of 2021.

“It turns out the issue consumers had with ad-supported platforms was not the fact that they included ads at all, but how the ads were delivered,” Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study, said in a statement.

Indeed, the report found that 56% of respondents said they’d rather watch ads and pay $4 to $5 less per month for a streaming service. Preference for less-expensive, ad-supported tiers over more-expensive, ad-free tiers has remained relatively stable over the past year.

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Subscribers to the ad-supported tiers of streaming services are, for the most part, equally likely to feel they get “excellent” or “good” value from the service as those who subscribe to the ad-free versions, according to Hub.

And subscribers to Discovery+ and Paramount+ with ads are actually 5% more likely than ad-free subscribers to feel those services offer excellent or good value.

The sentiment applies to FAST networks as well.

Of the respondents who said they were recent viewers of an ad-supported streaming platform, 69% said they enjoyed the entire experience of watching the show. For those who didn’t see relevant ads, viewing enjoyment was just 48%.

Similarly, streaming video enjoyment was 61% among those who remembered ads for products that seemed to be based on their past purchases. Among those not seeing ads like that, streaming enjoyment was lower 49%.

“With reasonable ad loads, more relevant targeting, and a quid-pro quo agreement (watch ads, pay less), the industry seems finally to have an answer to the question that has dogged it for years: how to get consumers to accept TV advertising,” Fondulas said.

FilmRise Acquires North American Streaming Rights to ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ TV Series

New York-based film and television studio and streaming network FilmRise has acquired North American rights to stream TV episodes based on the anime property “Yu- Gi-Oh!” from Konami Cross Media NY, a member of the Konami Group.

The deal grants AVOD streaming rights for the FilmRise Streaming Network, including all FilmRise owned and operated apps and FAST channels. 

“Adding ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ to our content offering is a major step forward for FilmRise in our aim to offer fans the opportunity to watch their favorite anime programs for free. This iconic Japanese property will be featured alongside other beloved anime content on our FilmRise Anime channel, a growing new destination for North American anime fans,” Max Einhorn, SVP of acquisitions and co-production at FilmRise, said in a statement. 

“We are excited to partner with FilmRise to expand the reach of the ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ series to fans on their successful and rapidly growing FilmRise Streaming Network,” Kristen Gray, president of Konami Cross Media, said in a statement.

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The “Yu-Gi-Oh!” franchise is based on the manga series that inspired a trading card game played with monsters, spells and traps, several video games, the television series and more. The video streaming package includes 808 episodes of the “Yu-Gi-Oh!” TV series in English, and 541 dubbed in Spanish. It includes “Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters” (236 episodes); “Yu-Gi-Oh! GX” (155 episodes); “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s” (123 episodes); “Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL” (146 episodes) and “Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V” (148 episodes).

Nielsen Launches Solution to Help Connected-TV Operators and Advertisers Better Target Consumers

Nielsen Jan. 4 announced the launch of a new research solution, Streaming Signals, which helps connected-TV operators and advertisers better understand who is watching a show within a household, according to the company.

Streaming Signals unbundles household viewing, allowing “both media buyers and media sellers to optimize and measure CTV reach for more efficient advertising, maximizing ad revenue and delivery to streaming audiences,” according to Nielsen.

Using custom machine learning models to determine who is in the household based on historical viewership data, Streaming Signals delivers a signal within 50 milliseconds to CTV operators of who is currently streaming program content instantly, according to Nielsen.

The solution is made possible by using machine-learning algorithms, viewing from Nielsen’s panel data, and CTV provider viewership data, according to Nielsen. Once integrated, the CTV provider will notify the Nielsen system and will receive a signal containing information regarding who is most likely watching within the household.

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“For example, if ‘Sons of Anarchy’ is being watched within a household, the 35-year-old male likely watching the show will be shown an auto ad instead of a yogurt ad, giving CTV operators the ability to sharpen ad delivery from their inventory,” read the Nielsen release.

“Nielsen Streaming Signals brings a layer of unmatched real-time, person-level demographic precision to audience optimization,” Ameneh Atai, GM of digital and advanced TV at Nielsen, said in a statement. “We know that the media industry is going through accelerated change, switching to a streaming-first approach, and with an audience watching programming whenever, wherever and on a number of devices. Nielsen is the only one that is unbundling the household because we are the only ones that sit at the intersection of the streaming behavior and audience data.”

Traditionally, clients have looked at on-target percentage when evaluating advertising on CTV. Streaming Signals lets clients to “positively impact” that percentage by knowing before the ad is served who is behind the CTV screen, according to Nielsen.

FAST, AVOD Services Getting Better, More-Exclusive Content, OTT.X@Pipeline Panelists Say

Free ad-supported TV (FAST) and ad-supported VOD (AVOD) services are becoming the hot ticket in digital distribution, according to panelists at the 14th Annual OTT.X@Pipeline event in Los Angeles Dec. 8.

“Suddenly, AVOD is becoming part of the broader distribution strategy for major studios and indie studios alike, whereas in the early days, AVOD services had just 10, 15-year-old catalog,” said Pluto TV’s Will Gurman.

Now, content owners are looking at an earlier window for ad-supported release, and the business is looking for exclusives.

“There’s a huge opportunity now with indie producers, and we’ve done this with a number of films, where in a traditional pay one window we might come in and provide some level of AVOD exclusivity, and we market and we promote, treat the film the way that you’d see years ago from SVOD services before they started moving more and more into originals,” Gurman said.

The business is projected to reach $4 billion by 2024, said Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia, and “a lot of the growth in this industry has happened in the last 18 months.”

Pluto TV, owned by ViacomCBS, is a FAST service with more than 300 channels in the United States and is in 26 regions globally. The service also has thousands of titles available via AVOD.

“We’re about 8 years old and Pluto’s really founded with the contrarian principle,” Gurman said. “When everyone was going to SVOD and going to VOD, Pluto went the other way and went back to linear and back to ad-supported and presented a platform of channels in a familiar format and familiar content and were really a pioneer in growing and building out the FAST channel space.”

As ad-supported services have joined the space, differentiation is becoming more important to rise above the competition, he said.

“Differentiation is key for us now,” he said. But rather than focusing on originals, the service is looking for original channels.

“Certain platforms are investing heavily into original content,” he noted. “For us at Pluto, one thing we’ve really focused on and continued to focus on is differentiating on our channels and making sure — while we don’t have original content — the majority of channels can’t be found on other platforms,” he said. “A great example of that recently was a channel that we launched with professional bull riders, a fantastic organization with a fan base of over 80 million in the U.S.”

The company had been a niche SVOD service.

“We quickly learned about their marketing strength, how strong and important their fan base was and what their experience had been as a niche SVOD service, looking at potentially transitioning them to a new business model that could help them reach a broader audience,” he said.

Now, the bull-riding content has its own ad-supported channel exclusively on Pluto.

“It’s called PBR Ridepass, and we’re certainly looking to do more types of opportunities like that,” Gorman said.

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In fact, the ad-supported PBR channel launched on Pluto on the day the SVOD service shut down.

“We worked hand and hand with them on marketing to all their subscribers [about the transition],” Gorman said.

“It’s not just about the PBR channel in isolation,” he added. “We have a strong audience that likes content with a strong overlap. We have channels of outdoor content, we have action movies. ‘Walker Texas Ranger’ is a great overlap in content.”

Meanwhile, PBR helps viewers discover other channels they like on Pluto, he said.

“There’s a huge opportunity for SVOD platforms to offer linear channels in the AVOD space,” Gurman noted, adding Pluto TV has a channel with Britbox.

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Mike Woods, a veteran of digital content service company Amagi, has started Orka TV to help ad buyers find easier ways to utilize AVOD and FAST services. The digital realm is rapidly becoming the new TV, he said.

“It is all available,” he said. “Everything can be done now.”

He noted that a channel that used to cost $500 million to set up, now costs just thousands.

Gurman and Woods noted that the monthly active users (MAU) measure of ad-supported service success is antiquated and can be fudged — for instance by counting imagined co-viewers. Pluto TV focuses on viewing hours or revenue, for instance. Revenue per hours of viewing is a key metric, Woods said.

“If you’re getting revenue per second, you’re doing pretty good,” he said.