Fox’s free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service, Tubi, reached 64 million monthly active users, the company announced today. The last time the company reported its subscriber base was in May 2022, when Tubi had 51 million. When Fox purchased the streaming service in 2020, Tubi then had 25 million monthly active users.
Fox recently reported quarterly earnings, which showed significant viewership growth at Tubi. Its total viewing time was up 44% year over year, with over 5 billion hours streamed in 2022. It’s likely Tubi viewership will increase even more since the streamer struck a deal with Warner Bros. Discovery, gaining more than 2,000 hours of WB-branded content.
Tubi claims to have the largest free streaming content catalog, with over 50,000 titles and more than 200 live TV channels.
The latest monthly active user figure was reported alongside Fox’s annual research report, “The Stream: 2023 Actionable Insights for Brands,” which shows an increased interest in cheaper ad-supported plans. The company predicted that by 2024, one in three U.S. consumers would stream AVOD (ad-supported video-on-demand). This is likely due to subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services hiking up their prices. Netflix and Disney+ were the most recent SVOD streamers to launch ad tiers.
Fox predicts that AVOD growth will increase by 9% in 2023 and 24% between 2022 and 2026 in total. Meanwhile, SVOD growth will remain “relatively flat,” the company wrote.
“As subscription costs continue to rise, nearly one in three streamers plan to reduce spending on streaming services this year,” said Mark Rotblat, chief revenue officer at Tubi, in a statement.
The report also stated that, within the past year, Tubi content was watched by one in five AVOD subscribers.
It’s pretty easy to see why AVOD services — especially free services — are becoming more and more favorable as they are closer in proximity to the cable experience, without the long-term contracts or hefty fees. Sixty-three percent of survey respondents said that free AVOD services are attractive because they typically offer more flexibility than cable and satellite TV and provide a more customized viewing experience.
Also, 45% of respondents said that they value streaming services with fewer ads. Tubi has arguably one of the lightest ad loads across AVOD services, citing between four and six minutes of ads per hour. However, the report found that less than one in five customers are still unsatisfied with the length of ad breaks on Tubi, but still prefer lighter ad loads compared to traditional TV, which has about nine or ten minutes.
For comparison, Peacock keeps the ad load around five minutes per hour. Disney+, Netflix and HBO Max aim for about four minutes.