Tubi: 62% of Streamers Prefer Free, Ad-Supported VOD Over Paid SVOD

Streaming video viewers are not opposed to watching ads for free access, with 62% preferring free, ad-supported access over paid. Additionally, 58% of viewers would rather have a free account to themselves than a paid subscription they have to share, according to new data from Tubi.

Fox Corp.’s ad-supported streaming service released findings from its The Stream 2024: Streaming Insights for Marketers. In this year’s report the AVOD/FAST platform partnered with The Harris Poll to conduct an online poll.

About 56% of viewers are streaming one to three hours of programming in one sitting, while 40% are streaming three or more hours at a time. Consumers estimate using about four different streaming services (3.8 average), with heavy streamers (defined as those who stream more than 15 hours/week) using about five (4.7 average). To keep them streaming, viewers want a vast selection of shows and movies (69%), new or original content (61%), and different genres or categories (50%), according to the poll.

“Tubi’s growth reflects a broader consumer shift towards ad-supported streaming and understanding next gen audiences is critical for us to create a differentiated streaming experience,” Cynthia Clevenger, SVP of B2B marketing at Tubi, said in a statement.

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The report found that Americans spend an average of $120 every month on streaming services and TV packages — more than what they spend on gas ($112). More than half (53%) of Gen Z and millennials believe they’re overspending on streaming, with 71% canceling due to tiered memberships that force them to pay more to access certain content.

The most preferred ad format among viewers is the standard ad break, similar to those on traditional TV, strategically placed at convenient plot point breaks in an episode or film (35%). Additionally, two-thirds (67%) of all viewers would rather watch an ad that’s related to the content they’re streaming.

Three-quarters (74%) of Gen Z and millennials prefer originals to remakes and three quarters (74%) are interested in seeing diversity and representation when they stream TV and movies. Additionally, 71% agree they’d like to see more TV shows and movies on streaming that are independent or from smaller creators.

Among programming choices, about 96% of respondents are interested in nostalgic watching, streaming shows that are 10-plus years oldClassic hits also continue to find new audiences among younger viewers who may be discovering them for the first time with 67% of Gen Z and millennials turning to content that’s 10-plus years old because “the style and quality is good.”

Two-thirds (68%) of respondents are keen on watching live sports or sports programming, such as NFL weekly game previews (45%) or the NBA G-League (31%), and 42% dedicate three or more hours each week to live sports streaming, eclipsing those watching on traditional cable and satellite TV (24%).

Tubi, which saw 78 million monthly active users and 59% growth year-over-year in total viewing time, surpassing 8.5 billion streaming hours in 2023, continues to see momentum with younger audiences who are not typically watching traditional TV, according to the service.

Sixty-three percent of Tubi streamers are cord-cutters and cord-nevers, and 30% are unreachable on other major ad-supported streamers, according to MRI-Simmons’ November 2023 Cord Evolution Study.

Also according to MRI, Tubi has seen 60% growth in the 18-34 demographic, 58%-plus growth in multicultural demos including Latino (67%), African American (58%) and LGBT (85%) audiences and 64% growth in female audiences, year over year.

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.

Fragmentation, Content Discovery Key Topics for Speakers at EnTech Fest

Fragmentation in the digital marketplace and strategies to make finding content easier were key topics for speakers at the Feb. 7 EnTech Fest in Los Angeles, presented by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

During the conference, which DEG president and CEO Amy Jo Smith said drew 750 attendees, panel moderator Mark Finer of Communication Research unveiled a study conducted with Screen Engine that found nearly half of consumers want to access all of their content in one place.

LG Electronics’ Matt Durgin (left) and Communication Research’s Mark Finer on an EnTech Fest panel Feb. 7.

Smart TV home pages are a key entry point to finding content.

“The home page is where we’re impacting changes to the entertainment space, so it’s a big responsibility to manage these home pages,” said Matt Durgin of LG Electronics. That entry point often looks similar among manufacturers, he said.

“Look at everyone’s home page,” he said. “It’s FAST. It’s everyone’s service, and probably an ad.”

Still, manufacturers are trying to group content so that consumers can more easily find what they want to watch, speakers said.

For instance, Roku’s Jason Weber pointed to his company’s “Sports Zone” category, which aggregates all live and upcoming sports.

“We work with our partners to leverage metadata that they provide,” said Google TV’s Tom Gorke. Google TV’s home page surfaces “continue watching” content for the consumer, no matter where that content resides. Google TV also has a “live” tab to show available live content.

“We understand what services a user subscribes to, and we can then provide them with recommendations from those services,” he said, noting that for instance a Max title can appear right next to one from Paramount+.

Evolving personalization is “a core goal of ours,” he said.

Vizio’s Madhu Somasundaram (left) and Roku’s Vicki Liao on an EnTech Fest panel Feb. 7.

Vizio’s Madhu Somasundaram noted his company leverages automatic content recognition (ACR) data, which collects viewing data on Vizio TVs, “to see what consumers want.”

Fandango’s Cameron Douglas noted that the company’s Vudu digital transactional service has 25,000 AVOD titles, mostly independent films — part of a vast library of more the 250,000 titles.

“It’s easy for stuff to get lost,” he said. “The industry needs to get better at personalization. It amazes me how much stuff is found just through search.”

Paramount Streaming’s Will Gurman said the company links brands to boost the overall business and drive consumers to content they might like. For instance, the company used viewings of the Paramount hit show “Yellowstone” as a “hook” to drive audiences to other Westerns on Pluto TV. He said Paramount Streaming uses a mix of human curation and data to match consumers with content.

“We’re trying to lean in to hyperfocus on categories where we think audiences will cluster,” he said.

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In helping consumers find content, “we’re really trying to emulate an experience similar to a rabbit hole” using “robust machine learning,” said Tubi’s Sam Harowitz. The AVOD company — which Harowitz said sees VOD (rather than linear FAST) as the future of streaming — last year mounted a Super Bowl ad in which a comedically aggressive rabbit pushes consumers down a “rabbit hole” of content, exhorting viewers to “find rabbit holes you didn’t know you were looking for.”

As FAST channels have exploded, Roku’s Vicki Liao said, “We have become more focused on selecting channels to fill where there’s an audience or genre need.”

She added, “We’re always looking at things that can be improved with product features or even human curation.”

Fox: Tubi Saw 62% Surge in Q2 Viewing, 17% Increase in Ad Revenue

Fox Corp.’s ad-supported streaming video platform Tubi saw a 62% increase in viewing time, along with a 17% spike in advertising revenue for the fiscal quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2023.

The platform averaged 78 million monthly users, who logged in 2.5 billion streaming hours in the quarter (up from 1.54 billion hours in the previous-year period) and set a new monthly record of 855 million total viewing hours in December alone.

“Tubi has consolidated its position in the streaming landscape, ranking as the most-watched free TV and movie streaming service in the United States, according to Nielsen, and surpassing Peacock, Max, Paramount+, and Pluto TV in view time for seven consecutive months,” Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on the company’s Feb. 7 fiscal call.

While Tubi continues to gain market traction (and advertising revenue), Fox said overall ad revenue dropped 20% in the quarter primarily due to the absence of the FIFA Men’s World Cup at Fox Sports (compared with 2022), lower political advertising revenue at the Fox Television Stations due to the absence of the 2022 midterm elections, and the impact of elevated supply in the direct response marketplace, lower ratings and higher preemptions associated with breaking news coverage at Fox News Media.

Fox reported net income of $115 million on revenue of $4.23 billion, compared compared to net income of $321 million on $4.61 billion as compared in the prior year quarter.

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Nielsen: Fox’s Free Ad-Supported Tubi Service Tops Peacock, Max, Paramount+ in November TV Market Share

For the second consecutive month, Fox’s free ad-supported streaming service Tubi topped its ad-supported streaming competition (Roku and Pluto TV), as well as the Peacock, Max and Paramount+ subscription streaming platforms in November TV market share, according to new household TV data from Nielsen.

Tubi ended the month with a 1.4% market share, up from 1.3% in October. The Roku Channel dropped to 1% from 1.1%, while Pluto remained unchanged at 0.8%.

Netflix gained 0.2 share point as a result of an increase in usage of 8.6% to finish the month at 7.4% of TV usage. Its new series “All the Light We Cannot See” provided a viewing highlight in a climate with less content as a result of the writers’ strike, as TV viewers spent 2.1 billion minutes watching the Netflix original miniseries. While YouTube also saw usage gains, only Tubi was able to add to its share, while YouTube’s share fell slightly as it was not enough to keep up with the increase in overall TV usage.

Meanwhile, football, including the NFL and college, helped up broadcast TV’s market share for the fourth consecutive month.

Driven by the Thanksgiving holiday week, total TV usage increased 5.7% in November, with broadcast gaining 0.3 share points to equal its share in January — both high points for the year. While TV usage was up nearly 3% during the first three weeks of the month, viewing during the fourth week jumped 14.4% over October levels.

With some of the most popular football matchups airing around Thanksgiving, broadcast usage increased 18.4% in the last week of the month, and viewership for sports programming was up 21% from October to account for one-third of all broadcast viewing. And while overall broadcast viewing is down 5.3% on a year-over-year basis, sports viewing on broadcast channels is up 2.8%.

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Finally, cable TV remains a prime destination for holiday movies, with viewing of feature films up 26% from October to account for 19% of cable viewing, making it the highest-viewed cable genre this month. Movie  viewership even surpassed the category’s typical front runner — cable news — which accounted for 18.4% of cable viewing in November. Movie viewership notwithstanding, cable lost 1.2 share points in November as news and sports viewing slipped 0.6% and 16%, respectively.

Tubi Announces WNBPA Sports Documentary Exclusive

Tubi, Fox Corp.’s ad-supported video-on-demand service, announced its latest sports exclusive documentary, “Shattered Glass: A WNBPA Story,” which is the streamer’s first to feature four WNBA MVP players, and bowing Jan. 31, 2024.

“[It] is a transcendent documentary that uniquely captures the power and spirit of female athletes,” Anjali Sud, CEO at Tubi, said in a statement.

Specifically, the doc explores the lives beyond the court of the next generation of women basketball stars, Jonquel JonesNneka Ogwumike, and Breanna Stewart, as well as WNBA legend, Sheryl Swoopes. From intense off-season routines to the intricacies of family dynamics to navigating the politics of women’s sports, the doc offers viewers a rare, all-encompassing look at the athletes as holistic individuals.

Directed by filmmaker Andrea Buccilla, a former college athlete and commercial director, the documentary features an all-women team in its development, production, and direction. Its executive production team includes Breanna StewartNneka OgwumikeJonquel JonesJessica McCourt (MALKA), Terri Carmichael JacksonRebecca Otto (Wasserman), Faith Suggs (Sports International Group) and Sheryl Swoopes, with Erin Gilchrist managing the production.

“‘Shattered Glass’ is more than a documentary – it’s a movement,” said Executive Producer Terri Carmichael Jackson. “We’re bringing to light the incredible stories of these athletes, who are not just sports icons but powerful advocates for change, respect, and inspiration – something that all women can relate to and feel empowered by.”

Warner Bros. Discovery Licenses DC Studios Superhero Movies, TV Shows to Tubi

Warner Bros. Discovery is reportedly licensing the bulk of its DC Studios’ superhero movies to Tubi, the ad-supported streaming video platform of the Tubi Media Group, a division of Fox Corporation that oversees the company’s digital businesses.

The non-exclusive deal includes immediate access to Batman, Batman Returns and Batman Forever, as well as Superman: The Movie and Superman II, and TV series, “Batwoman,” “Gotham” and “Krypton”. Other titles include The Batman, Suicide Squad, Black Adam, Wonder Woman and Aquaman, among others.

The pact also includes the launch of 10 new WBD-branded free ad-supported streaming television channels, in addition to the renewal of 13 existing FAST channels.

WBD CEO David Zaslav has made no secret his desire to mine incremental revenue licensing proprietary content to third-party distribution platforms beyond the media giant’s Max streaming service. Indeed, the majority of the DC Universe content catalog had been limited to streaming on Max.

“The addition of recent blockbuster movies and fan-favorite series from the DC library is a monumental offering for Tubi viewers,” Tubi chief content officer Adam Lewinson said in a statement.

And Tubi is expanding beyond catalog content and into live sports. The streamer last month inked a deal with the NBA G League, the NBA’s official development league, to stream select games on the NBA G League TV channels. The channel features more than 75 live games each season, including more than a dozen G League Ignite games and select G League Playoff games.

The WBD/Tubi agreement was first reported by Variety.

CFO: Fox Keeping Eyes Open for Live Sports Streaming Option

Outside of the Fox Nation subscription streaming VOD service, and its ad-supported Fox Weather and Tubi platforms, Fox Corp. remains a legacy pay-TV distributor. But should live sports shift direct-to-consumer, Fox, which distributes the NFL, MLB, Major League Soccer, NASCAR, NCAA football, basketball, FIFA World Cup, and WWE SmackDown across linear and online pay-TV networks, is ready to participate, according to CFO Steve Tomsic.

Speaking Dec. 4 at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference in New York, Tomsic was asked about Disney’s pending ESPN-branded live sports offering and how Fox would respond.

Tomsic acknowledged ESPN is a strong brand, but added that with much of live sports gobbled up by territorial TV rights, getting enough live sports on a singular streaming platform remains a challenge.

“We did a calculus of all the sort of distribution modes that could possibly emerge,” Tomsic said. “With sports in this country, they’re so fragmented. If you’re a sports fan and you want to watch the NFL in a given week, you go to Amazon for Thursdays, you go to us on Sunday, you’ve got CBS on Sunday, you’ve got NBC Sunday night and you’ve got ESPN on Monday. No one sports service is going to satisfy.”

Steven Tomsic

That said, should the slowly rising tide of live sports streaming, including select NFL games on Peacock, Paramount+ and Prime Video — including the latter’s recent deal to live-stream NASCAR races along with Max — reach the broadcast shoreline, Tomsic said Fox would be all in revisiting its strategy.

Specifically, the executive said Fox does not define itself by the delivery mechanism, or the way content is scheduled, adding that live sports and news are different than entertainment.

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“For entertainment, there’s no doubt that streaming has delivered a better user experience,” Tomsic said. “It’s on-demand, you watch it when you want to watch it. Sports and news are the opposite. Live sports expects the viewer to be on demand. People don’t watch replays of the news or live sports.”

“We don’t consider ourselves a linear TV programmer,” he added. “We have the rights capability, both on the sports side and on the news side, to be able to deliver our services DTC. We have a pretty extensive technology build. We have all the building blocks for us [direct-to-consumer], if and when that becomes appropriate. But for now, we still think the right strategy is where we’re at.”

Fox CEO: No Live Sports Coming to Tubi as Platform Topped 70 Million Q1 Monthly Average Users, Posted 30% Uptick in Ad Revenue

Fox Corp. Nov. 2 reported that its Tubi ad-supported VOD (AVOD) and free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) platform saw 30% revenue growth and 65% lift in total view time in the first quarter, ended Sept. 30. Tubi topped 70 million monthly active users in September, who logged nearly 4 billion streaming hours in the first half of the calendar year.

Fox reported Tubi remains the number one AVOD player and most-watched FAST service in the United States, topping rivals Pluto TV, Max, Paramount+ and Peacock in view time for five consecutive months, citing Nielsen data.

Speaking on the fiscal call, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said Tubi’s high level of viewer engagement revolves around the platform’s content library, which exceeds 60,000 titles and translates into more than 225,000 movies and TV episodes, in addition to approximately 300 FAST channels.

During the quarter, Tubi introduced Rabbit AI, a ChatGPT recommendation engine, to help users navigate the platform’s content library.

“Our recent MRI study of streaming peers concluded that Tubi saw the fastest growth amongst young and diverse populations,” Murdoch said, adding that 33% of Tubi users do not migrate to rival platforms.

When asked whether Tubi would ever stream live sports, Murdoch shot down the idea quickly.

“We don’t envisage any kind of significant live sports on Tubi in the near or frankly, even long-term future,” he said.

The executive reiterated that Tubi remains primarily focused on video-on-demand entertainment, which Murdoch believes makes that content and user engagement more valuable to advertisers.

“It will be a long time before we see significant live sports on Tubi,” Murdoch said.

Meanwhile, the television business segment, which includes Tubi, realized first quarter, ended Sept. 30, revenue of $1.78 billion, an increase of $66 million from revenue of $1.71 billion reported in the prior year quarter.

The business unit saw advertising revenue increase $5 million to $910 million, as the broadcast of the Women’s World Cup at Fox Sports and continued growth at Tubi were partially offset by lower political advertising revenue at the Fox Television Stations and lower ratings at the Fox Network.

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Tubi Helps Fox Corp. Up Q4 TV Results With Record Revenue, Viewership

Network television advertising may be in a secular decline, but for ad-supported online streaming service Tubi. The Fox Corp.-owned AVOD/free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) platform continues to entice viewership and advertisers — from linear TV.

While advertising revenue dipped 1.5% to $688 million in the fourth quarter (ended June 30), from $698 million reported in the prior year quarter, the decline was largely due to lower political advertising at the Fox television stations and lower ratings among Fox television shows. It was offset by continued interest in Tubi and 9% higher affiliate fees ($61 million) paid by Fox distributors, which helped up the television business segment up revenue 4% to $1.59 billion, from $1.53 billion a year earlier.

“From the exceptional sports calendar that included Super Bowl LVII and [last year’s] FIFA Men’s World Cup, to the record-breaking [2022] political midterm cycle and the impressive growth seen at Tubi, the power of the Fox platform was on full display,” CEO Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement.

Speaking on the fiscal call, Murdoch called out Tubi’s appearance on Nielsen’s monthly “The Gauge,” the data tracker’s macroanalysis of audience viewing behaviors across key television delivery platforms, including broadcast, streaming and cable.

Murdoch said Tubi increased its viewership in fiscal 2023 by 79%, making it the No. 1 AVOD platform in the country — equal to a top five cable network.

“Tubi’s fiscal 2023 was nothing short of spectacular, underpinned by growth in total view time, which in turn, powered revenue growth,” Murdoch said.

The executive executive said the fiscal year amounted to a year of recognition for Tubi, its expanding content library and industry awards for its Super Bowl commercial.

“Each quarter in the fiscal year, saw successive gains at Tubi, but the fourth quarter was the most impressive of all,” Murdoch said, alluding the platform’s 47% increase in revenue and 65% climb in viewership.

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