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Tubi Says Streaming Hours Viewed Increased 40% in 2021

Fox Corp’s ad-supported streaming service Tubi Feb. 9 announced findings from its annual audience report that revealed the platform generated 3.6 billion hours streamed in 2021, up 40% in total viewing time from 2020. The service said its incremental audience continues to complement other video investments — with 71% of Tubi streamers unreachable on cable, 56% unreachable on linear TV, and 27% unreachable on any other major free streaming platform.

“Our findings bring AVOD to the forefront of streaming investment planning for brands in 2022, as well as a necessary complement to existing linear TV strategy,” Natalie Bastian, SVP of marketing at Tubi, said in a statement. “By accessing Fox’s desirable audience as well as partnering with next generation platforms to reach audiences not found on linear television — and it’s paid off with rapid growth among key audience segments.”

Tubi, which based its report on a fourth-quarter online survey of 6,003 adult streamers over 18 years of age, contends streaming’s audience will grow larger than paid streaming by middle of the year.

It claims AVOD audiences grew twice as fast (+16%) as SVOD (+8%) in 2021. In 2022, the survey projects that the current 5% gap in market penetration will close, with the number of AVOD users surpassing SVOD. This is attributable to a variety of factors, including subscription fatigue, ubiquitous hardware, cord cutting and increased broadband access.

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Tubi said AVOD adoption was led by the young (who still over-index vs. general population), but mature, educated and affluent audiences are growing rapidly. Tubi has seen double-digit growth in all audience segments over the past year — with the most growth among college educated and affluent ($100k+ households) demos, placing Tubi on par with U.S. national averages. With an average viewer 16+ years younger than non-streamers, Tubi’s audience has become nationally representative across geographic, economic and educational segments, and includes a large multicultural audience, comprising 40% of its user base.

The report said streaming platforms are garnering distinct, loyal audiences, while maintaining audience overlap with SVOD. Streamers continue to gravitate to specific AVOD services as their “television of choice,” while being selective about which services they pay a premium for. Factors that determine AVOD selection in a crowded marketplace include ease of use, content, personalization and user experience. Currently, over a quarter (27%) of Tubi streamers can’t be reached on any other major AVOD service:  78% aren’t on Peacock, and 62% aren’t on Hulu; however, 71% subscribe to Netflix, currently unreachable by ads.

Tubi said streaming will become the fastest growing video format in both viewership and media investment. Connected-TV and over-the-top ad spend grew 34% in 2021, compared with 7.4% for national broadcast and cable. The report projects that half of all internet users will use free streaming services by 2024, and by 2026, AVOD revenues will triple 2021 levels, reaching $31.5 billion.

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