Free ad-supported streaming television platform Tubi keeps paying dividends for Fox Corp. — a year after being acquired for $440 million. The AVOD service contributed to Fox generating $915 million in advertising revenue for the third quarter (ended March 31). That compared to ad-revenue of $1.26 billion in the previous-year period when Fox hosted Super Bowl LIV. Current-quarter ad revenue topped the previous non-Super Bowl period in 2019 by 11% at $812 million.
Fox doesn’t break out Tubi revenue separately, but the company expects the FAST platform to generate $1 million in incremental ad revenue in the fiscal year.
Through nine months of the fiscal year, ad revenue is tracking at $3.4 billion, compared with $3.7 billion a year earlier.
Tubi’s viewership increased more than 30% and now reaches 40 million monthly active users. Tubi generated more than 275 million hours of total viewing in March, a monthly record for the platform. It also set a quarterly record for total view time with nearly 800 million hours streamed — up more than 50% year-over-year. Tubi streamed more than 2.5 billion hours of content.
“Contrary to the strategy of the major SVOD services, Tubi’s goal is to turbocharge certain genres of content that already make Tubi successful, and thereby allow us to super-serve certain segments of Tubi’s audience. Again, all to continue to drive engagement and therefore monetization to new heights,” CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on the fiscal call.
Murdoch said another important differentiator of Tubi’s content is live local news. Tubi recently closed deals to bring an additional 20 local new stations to the platform later this year. These added stations extend Tubi’s news reach to 24 of the top 25 markets.
“Underpinning the news on Tubi offering our live local news feeds from 18 owned and operated Fox Television Stations,” Murdoch said. “In total, news on Tubi will carry nearly 100 local station feeds in 2021 covering 58 DMAs and offering the most robust local news offering of any free streaming service.”