Tubi Bows New Tech Enabling Advertisers to Better Target Viewers

Fox Corp.’s ad-supported VOD platform Tubi March 23 at its “Tubi Connect” event in New York announced new technology that aims to better connect advertisers with targeted viewers.

Working together with VideoAmp, a Los Angeles-based software and data company, and Comscore, Tubi said the new integrations would enable brands to target viewers through more informed planning decisions, identity solutions and flexible currency options ahead of the AVOD platform’s upfront season.

In addition to incorporating VideoAmp’s Premium Video Planning Tool and LiveRamp TV Activation for forecasting and planning investments, Tubi is expanding its content marketing formats with the addition of “pause ads” (offering marketers full screen display messaging when viewers pause streaming) to the suite of products available to buyers.

“We’re expanding our partnerships with key industry players to make it easier than ever for buyers to transact on Tubi and deliver the seamless experience they need to effectively plan, activate and measure their campaigns,” Mark Rotblat, chief revenue officer at Tubi, said in a statement.

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Since being acquired by Fox for $440 million in 2020, Tubi has sought to address marketers’ needs and make it easy to transact on connected televisions. Tubi is seeking entice viewers with lighter ad loads, and marketers with thematic sponsorships, advanced “frequency management,” advanced targeting and transparent “campaign insights,” along with an interoperable “certified measurement” program.

Last week, Tubi announced that it made its debut in Nielsen’s February 2023 report from The Gauge, which tracks monthly TV usage across key content delivery platforms. According to The Gauge, Tubi accounted for 1% of total TV consumption in February, making it the most-watched FAST (free ad-supported television) service in the U.S.

Tubi Enters Live Streaming Showcasing Select World Baseball Classic Games

The World Baseball Classic, the global professional baseball tournament featuring 20 countries, is streaming select games on Tubi.

The three games mark the first time Fox Entertainment’s ad-supported VOD platform has ventured into live sports streaming. The month-long tournament, which runs through March 21, is being broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1), Fox Sports 2 (FS2), and Spanish language on Fox Deportes.

Fox Corp. acquired San Francisco-based Tubi for $440 million in 2020.

The Classic is entering the home stretch. Among the countries competing is the defending champion United States, which advanced into the second round despite losing to Mexico in pool play. Team USA plays Venezuela March 18 at LoanDepot Park in Miami, with the winner advancing to play Cuba on March 19. The WBC was last held in 2017.

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Tubi Joins Nielsen’s Monthly Streaming Chart After Notching 1% Market Share

Fox Corporation’s ad-supported video-on-demand service Tubi March 16 announced it debuted on the February edition of Nielsen’s The Gauge Total TV and Streaming Snapshot. According to Nielsen, which tracks monthly TV and streaming usage in the U.S., Tubi reached 1% of total TV viewing minutes in February 2023, making it the most-watched free ad supported VOD service in the U.S. — ahead of rival Pluto TV.

“Reaching 1% of total viewing minutes is a huge milestone for us because it validates we are driving viewership,” Mark Rotblat, chief revenue officer at Tubi, said in a statement.

Tubi’s market share debut on The Gauge coincided with Netflix and Pluto TV losing 0.2% and 0.3% market share, respectively.

“We want to congratulate Tubi because this month they have officially reached the 1% threshold, which means we will be initiating coverage,” Brian Fuhrer, SVP of media analysis, said in a video post.

The Gauge is Nielsen’s monthly snapshot of total TV and streaming usage in the U.S. It is underpinned by Nielsen’s TV ratings service, in addition to Nielsen Streaming Platform Ratings, which provides clients with audience measurement data that details the amount of time consumers spend streaming and on which platforms.

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AVOD Service Tubi to Hold First-Ever Advertising Upfront

Fox Media’s ad-supported VOD platform Tubi March 15 announced it would host its first-ever conference for advertisers, Tubi Connect, on March 23 at Spring Studios in Manhattan, N.Y.

The event, which mirrors network television advertising upfronts, will preview a half-day of content programming and how Tubi is connecting with the right consumer audiences and delivering brand impact at scale.

Tubi has been projected to generate upwards of $1 billion in advertising revenue by 2024.

“Now is a great time to give our brand and agency partners a closer look at Tubi’s strategy for the coming year as well as our unique POV across trending topics in the video investment ecosystem,” Mark Rotblat, chief revenue officer, said in a statement.

Sessions at Tubi Connect will cover everything from streaming marketplace predictions for the year ahead, and new forms of driving impact in streaming entertainment, to how brands can tap into data for more effective and efficient campaign planning. The conference will also highlight why streamers should create content that appeals to all types of audiences, as opposed to the masses, to drive viewer engagement and loyalty.

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Tubi executives set to address the upfront include founder/CEO Farhad Massoudi, CMO Nicole Parlapiano, CRO Mark Rotblat, CCO Adam Lewinson, and Tyler Fitch, SVP of advanced TV and partnerships.

In addition, a number of brand and content partners will be featured, including Bryian Keith Montgomery Jr., writer and director of the upcoming Tubi Original, “Cinnamon,” produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and starring Damon Wayans, Hailey Kilgore, David Iacono and Pam Grier, representation from New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger, and Tubi’s agency partner, VaynerMedia.

Tubi, which Fox acquired in 2020 for $440 million, recently reported a 44% year-over-year increase in viewing (2022 calendar year vs 2021) and more than 5 billion hours streamed in 2022. With 64 million monthly active users, Tubi touts a library of 50,000 movies and TV shows and 200+ FAST channels from 455 content partners.

Fox CEO: Tubi the ‘Little Guy’ in ‘Monty Python’ Movie Fight Scene

As media giants grapple with escalating costs and losses in their streaming video business units, Fox Corp. sits on the sidelines having washed its hands of its Hulu ownership stake in 2019 following the $71 billion 20th Century Fox asset sale to Disney.

For CEO Lachlan Murdoch, the strategy of moving away from subscription streaming to ad-supported VOD is akin to the infamous fight scene in the 1995 dark comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in which two knights attempt to maul each other in numerous ways.

CEO Lachlan Murdoch

Speaking March 9 at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco, Murdoch says Tubi remains the streaming market’s unassuming player avoiding the direct-to-consumer fiscal bloodshed.

“We’re the little guy,” Murdoch said. “We’re going to be the one to survive because we haven’t had our arms or legs cut off.”

Murdoch said the whole thesis behind the 20th Century Fox asset sale to Disney was based on avoiding a streaming arms war.

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“We could give Disney a winner in the SVOD space [i.e. Hulu] while focusing on our core brands: Live news and live sports, which is where advertisers and audiences are pivoting to,” he said.

Unlike the market focus on free ad-supported streaming TV channels, Murdoch said Tubi isn’t a FAST platform. Instead, he characterizes the service as an ad-supported VOD pure play with the largest video content library of any streaming video service in the world at 50,000 titles.

“All library titles, which keeps the costs down,” he said. “Viewer engagement is focused on specific content, which makes that viewer very important to advertisers.”

Murdoch said he believes the evolution of ad-supported SVOD tiers to the market is good for the whole streaming industry, which he said will up CPMs at Tubi.

Taking a swipe at competing SVOD services such as Paramount+ and Peacock that are incorporating live sports onto their platforms, Murdoch said Fox would continue to keep sports exclusive to linear broadcast television.

“We don’t have a general entertainment underperforming SVOD service, so we don’t need to put sports in,” he said. “The value for us is to keep those sports exclusive to broadcast.”

When asked about the pending high-profile $1.6 billion Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit against Fox News, which alleges Fox allowed opinion hosts such as Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Maria Bartiromo and Laura Ingraham to knowingly peddle conspiracy theories about Dominion voting machines used in the 2020 Presidential Election, Murdoch said the case wasn’t about breaking the law or news gathering.

“A news organization has an obligation to report news wholesomely, and without fear or favor,” he said. “And that’s what Fox News has always done. And that’s what Fox News will always do. And I think a lot of the noise you hear about this case is actually not about the law. It’s not about journalism. It’s really about the politics. And that’s unfortunately more reflective of the polarized society we live in today.”

Murdoch claimed that more Democrats, Hispanics and Asians watch Fox News than watch CNN or MSNBC.

“So, the position of the [Fox News] channel is very strong,” he said.

The Dominion lawsuit is slated to go to trial in April, according to Murdoch.

Warner Bros. Discovery, Netflix Kicking FAST/AVOD Service Tires

Following the high-profile debut of Fox Corp.’s free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST)/AVOD platform Tubi on the Super Bowl LVII broadcast, the AVOD market is stepping out further from under the subscription streaming VOD shadow.

Warner Bros. Discovery and Netflix are reportedly eyeing potential standalone free ad-supported streaming services to compete with a burgeoning FAST/AVOD market that includes Paramount’s Pluto TV, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s Crackle and Redbox Live TV, The Roku Channel, Comcast/Charter’s Xumo, Shout Factory TV, Cinedigm’s Cineverse and Amazon Freevee, among others.

The FAST/AVOD market is projected to up revenue to $30 billion in the U.S. by 2026, according to Digital TV Research. Tubi, which Fox acquired in 2020 for $440 million, alone is eyeing $1 billion in advertising revenue this year.

Now, Warner Bros. Discovery, under a push by CEO David Zaslav, and Netflix are looking under the AVOD hood at potential service launches.

Alarmed by the fact that 60% of the HBO Max SVOD service’s content is not consumed by subscribers, Zaslav has aggressively sought to monetize said content on both third-party and proprietary FAST/AVOD platforms. WBD, which recently inked AVOD license deals for a host of TV shows to The Roku Channel and Tubi, also wants to market select programming on its own platform, dubbed WBTV, according to Bloomberg.

Speaking late last year to a Wall Street investor group, Zaslav contends WBD can create a standalone FAST/AVOD service stocked with Warner Bros. Television catalog shows, rather than just licensing third-party content. The television production unit is the largest in Hollywood, generating around 100 shows currently in production, according to Zaslav.

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“We recognize that there’s a huge number of people in every country that aren’t going to pay [for a subscription streaming service],” Zaslav said. “That will position us, in terms of aggregating an audience, better than anybody.”

Netflix, which just launched a lower-priced ad-supported SVOD option after 10+ years of brushing off advertising, is undoubtedly researching the idea (among many others) with no clear business model planned at the moment, if at all. A Netflix representative wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter believes Netflix will pass on the concept.

“I don’t think it’s likely at all, way too confusing to consumers,” Pachter said. “If they decide to do that, they would have to rebrand under a different name (like FreeTV). I don’t see them confusing people who log onto Netflix and can’t find ‘Stranger Things.'”

To Farhad Massoudi, who founded San Francisco-based Tubi as a video advertising platform in 2011, the FAST/AVOD market is reaching its potential.

“We’ve been collecting data for a decade on viewership of titles and audience segmentation,” Massoudi said in a media interview. “And once we figure out what the user is interested in, then we can serve them hundreds of hours of content that’s similar.”

Tubi, like other AVOD platforms, is expanding content offerings to include next-day access to Fox Entertainment programming such as “The Masked Singer” competition show, while moving into original content as well.

The platform’s recently inked WBD content licensing pact includes myriad catalog shows such as “Westworld,” Raised by Wolves,” “Legendary,” “F-Boy Island,” “The Nevers,” “Finding Magic Mike,” “Head of the Class” and “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” among others.

“Our new WB branded FAST channels and on-demand offering will speak to each of Tubi’s distinct audience communities,” said Adam Lewinson, Tubi’s chief content officer.

Tubi Streaming Hours Topped 5 Billion in 2022, Monthly Viewership Up to 64 Million

Fresh off its high-profile Super Bowl LVII commercials, Fox Corporation’s free ad-supported streaming platform Tubi Feb. 14  disclosed it ended 2022 with 5 billion hours consumed and monthly viewership reaching 64 million — up from 61 million viewers in the previous-year period.

Fox acquired San Francisco-based Tubi in 2020 for $440 million as part of an alternative approach to the streaming wars dominated by subscription-based SVOD behemoths Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+ and Peacock.

“As [SVOD] costs continue to rise, nearly one in three streamers plan to reduce spending on streaming services this year,” Mark Rotblat, chief revenue officer of Tubi, said in a statement.

Tubi believes those cost-cutting SVOD subscribers will move to AVOD and FAST platforms.

Tubi said total viewing time on the platform in 2022 jumped 44% over 2021, with viewership of younger diverse audiences up more than 50%. More than 36% of Tubi streamers are between the ages of 18 and 34, accessing more than 50,000 titles from 455 content partners as well as a growing curated FAST offering watched by 20% of AVOD streamers in the past 12 months.

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In a report citing multiple data points collected in 2022, Tubi found that linear pay-TV cord-cutting continues, with 75% of survey respondents contending that AVOD streaming is a practical alternative to cable and satellite TV.

With Netflix clamping down on password sharing among its subscribers, Tubi believes the practice will inflate subscriber churn as 35% of streamers access other people’s accounts and 45% of streamers want to stream without having an account.

Tubi found that 51% of streamers are satisfied with six minutes of standard video ads per hour, instead of split screen, interactive or QR code ads.

As advertisers evaluate the state of streaming TV, more ad dollars are being dedicated to AVOD, FAST and ad-supported SVOD. About 80% of marketers now regard advertising on streaming television as “highly valuable.” The report suggests that the growth in monthly active users, the presence of otherwise hard to reach young and multicultural streamers, and the ability to reach hard to find audiences are  key drivers for AVOD ad spend.

“With consumers turning to AVOD to complement the select SVOD services they choose to keep, Tubi offers a brand-safe environment for advertisers looking to tap into an incremental, young, diverse, and highly engaged streaming audience,” Rotblat said.

Tubi Tops Streamers With Three Super Bowl LVII Ads, Including Fake Fox Sports TV Screen

While SVOD platforms Netflix, Peacock and Paramount+ spent tens of millions of dollars collectively on Super Bowl LVII commercials, Fox Entertainment’s free ad-supported Tubi platform topped all streamers with three (less-expensive) spots during the Feb. 12 Fox Sports national broadcast showcasing the Kansas City Chiefs’ come-from-behind 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Tubi, which was the only AVOD/FAST platform to air a Super Bowl commercial, made its debut during singer Rhianna’s halftime show with spots that saw giant rabbits throwing people down a metaphorical entertainment rabbit hole and hijacked viewers’ screens during the game.

In the 60-second “Rabbit Holes” ad, viewers followed the everyday life of various people who are unexpectedly plucked out of the real world by oversized rabbits and dropped into the magical world of Tubi’s library of content. In the fourth quarter, a giant rabbit again appears to lurk behind a woman gardening, ready to take her down her own personalized content journey.

The concept behind the literal tossing of unsuspecting people into rabbit holes is the metaphorical expression of rabbit holes that Tubi viewers can “fall into” when exploring the range of content on the platform, according to Greg Hahn, co-founder and chief operating officer at Mischief @ No Fixed Address, the creative agency behind the commercials.

Hahn said Tubi wanted Super Bowl viewers to experience the streaming platform, rather than specific programming.

“These spots reveal a personality we’ve had fun creating over the past few months: Quirky, playful and a bit unexpected,” Hahn said in a statement.

The streamer also launched a 15-second promo in collaboration with Fox Sports during the fourth quarter of the game. In the “Interface Interruption” spot, game Fox announcers Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are coming back to the game when it suddenly appears that the TV screen has been taken over by someone scrolling through Tubi’s movie and TV show library searching for something else to watch.

“While much of the streaming world still revolves around an obsession with the latest movie or series, we are on a mission to give people access to all the world’s stories,” said Tubi’s chief marketing officer Nicole Parlapiano, chief marketing officer.

Tubi, which claims 61 million active monthly users, offers 50,000+ titles, including more than 70 originals, and 200+ FAST channels from 455 content partners. The platform’s ad partnership with Mischief will continue with a separate brand campaign launching later this year.

Fox Bets on FAST/AVOD Streaming After Rejecting $2 Billion Tubi Acquisition Offer

Fox Corp. has largely avoided the subscription streaming VOD market, except for its ownership of Fox News Media’s politically-driven Fox Nation SVOD service. Instead, the Rupert Murdoch-founded media giant has put more of its over-the-top video eggs into Tubi, the San Francisco-based AVOD and free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels platform it acquired for $440 million in 2020.

And the company seems to be committed to Tubi. CEO Lachlan Murdoch reportedly was offered $2 billion for the service and turned down the offer from an undisclosed buyer, according to Bloomberg, which cited sources familiar with the situation.

Tubi saw second-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2022) advertising revenue increase 25% to $200 million, compared to revenue of $160 million in the previous-year period. Analyst MoffettNathanson believes Tubi will generate about $1 billion in ad revenue this year. Viewership grew more than 40% in December to more than 60 million people monthly who can log onto the platform and start streaming catalog movies and TV shows across all genres.

Tubi, along with Paramount Global’s Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, Redbox Free Live TV, Crackle, Amazon Freevee and Shout Factory TV, among others, has hitched its wagon onto the burgeoning ad-supported streaming video market that looks to replicate legacy broadcast TV on the internet.

Digital TV Research suggests that with SVOD services now rolling out lower-priced ad-supported options, global AVOD revenue for TV series and movies will reach $91 billion in 2028, up from $38 billion in 2022. The top 10 countries will represent 81% of the world’s total by 2028. By 2028, 15 platforms will generate AVOD revenue in excess of $1 billion, including six available globally, five from the United States and three from China.

“An exciting development will be the global rollout of hybrid AVOD/SVOD tiers by major platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO and Paramount+,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “These four platforms will generate AVOD revenue of $22.6 billion by 2028 — or a quarter of the world’s total.”

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Tubi, like other standalone AVOD platforms, is expanding content offerings to include next-day access to Fox pay-TV programming such as “The Masked Singer” competition show, while moving into original content as well.

The platform, along with The Roku Channel, recently inked content licensing deals with Warner Bros. Discovery for myriad shows, including “Westworld,” Raised by Wolves,” “Legendary,” “F-Boy Island,” “The Nevers,” “Finding Magic Mike,” “Head of the Class” and “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” among others.

“Our new WB branded FAST channels and on-demand offering will speak to each of Tubi’s distinct audience communities,” said Adam Lewinson, Tubi’s chief content officer.

Fox: Tubi Saw Quarterly Ad Revenue Jump 25%, Viewership Grow 41% in December

Fox Corp. Feb. 8 reported that its Tubi branded ad-supported VOD and free ad-supported streaming TV platform saw second-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2022) advertising revenue increase 25% compared with the previous-year period.

Tubi, which Fox acquired in 2020 for $440 million, is projected to generate upwards of $1 billion in ad revenue this year. December recorded the highest-ever user trends for the platform, according to Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch.

“We have seen increases in almost every [key performance indicator]. including [cost per thousand], TVT and engagement,” Murdoch said on the fiscal call. “When we look at these metrics, there’s a ripeness for very significant revenue growth.”

Murdoch, who has lobbied for AVOD/FAST over SVOD since Fox sold its motion picture assets to Disney, said content creators from the big studios to independents are working with Tubi to create incremental revenue opportunities on new and catalog content.

Warner Bros. Discovery recently inked license deals for myriad shows with Tubi and The Roku Channel.

“All the major studios continue to work with us. We’re seeing a benefit of people realizing that their deep [content] libraries…we can help them monetize those libraries,” he said. “Which is why Tubi has the biggest library in movie and TV streaming.”

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At the same time, Fox recently renewed content license deals with previously-owned Hulu. Murdoch hailed the renewal as further proof of an ongoing “symbiotic’ relationship between Fox and Disney-controlled Hulu.

“As more of our [Fox] viewers watch content on a catch-up basis, we’re not monetizing our hit shows in the first window [live plus same-day] like we used to, so by being to capture viewer engagement after [that window] is critically important. And the Hulu deal allows us to do that.”

Murdoch said the agreement enables Hulu to piggyback on the marketing Fox employs on it s programming by streaming content the next day.

“So, it works very well for Hulu and it works very well for us,” he said.