Discover more from Streaming Made Easy
SME#46: Dive Down Into Tubi's Rabbit Hole
A Free Streaming TV Powerhouse
Welcome back to Streaming Made Easy (SME).
I’m Marion & this is your 5-min read to get a European take on the Global Streaming Video Business.
Every Friday in your inbox. Check out previous editions here.
Enjoy today’s read.
In the ever-evolving landscape of Free Streaming TV, there is one company we, Europeans, know little about: Tubi.
Rightfully so as Tubi is not active in our region.
Having said that, if you operate (or ambition to operate) in the streaming video space beyond Europe, you shouldn’t overlook Tubi.
In this edition, I will make sure you come out with a clear view on what Tubi is and the opportunity it brings.
Today at a glance:
The Founding Story
The Growth Journey
The Ad Pitch
The Founding Story
Tubi was founded in April 2014 by Farhad Massoudi and Thomas Ahn Hicks, who were working at AdRise, a company that specialized in online video advertising.
They saw an opportunity to create a platform that would provide free access to premium content, supported by targeted ads.
Remind you of another Los Angeles start up launched that same year ? 👀 Pluto TV
AdRise launched Tubi TV as a free service, with a focus on acquiring licensed content from major studios and distributors.
At launch, Tubi TV had more than 3,000 titles licensed from partners like ITV, Endemol, Hasbro and Cinedigm.
become the largest library of free movies and TV shows.
become the first stop after Netflix.
Their funding journey:
At the time, Tubi had 20K programs and 25M monthly active users.
“Tubi will immediately expand our direct-to-consumer audience and capabilities and will provide our advertising partners with more opportunities to reach audiences at scale.”
Fox Corp. executive chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch
The Growth Journey
Following its US launch, Tubi has grown its footprint to 9 additional markets: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama.
Like all pure players, they thrive to be device agnostic, hence why the Tubi app is available across streaming dongles, Smart TVs, game consoles, web & mobile, a couple of cable providers.
From a content standpoint, Tubi is AVOD first while Pluto TV is FAST first.
It shows in the numbers. Their library now exceeds 200,000 movies and TV episodes.
After 7 years of 3rd-party content licensing, Tubi Originals launched in June 2021 and since then Tubi has aired nearly 200 titles which have been watched by nearly 54M viewers.
They expanded to FAST in 2020 in the US and in October 2023 in Canada where they respectively have 250 channels & 40 channels.
According to their 2023 Stream Report, 1 in 5 AVOD Streamers has watched a Tubi FAST channel. Tubi saw a 63% YoY Viewership Growth from its 200 FAST Channel Hub.
Yet as you navigate the service (or watch their cool ads), you feel how much on demand is at the core of their value proposition:
And also why they recently announced a ChatGPT enabled content discovery feature:
Now, they’ve grown their footprint and library.
What about their revenue & user trajectory?
Disclaimer: We don’t know what constitutes an active user for Tubi. It could be a second spent watching content on the platform.
How do they compare to other Free Streamers?
Earlier this year, Tubi was the 1st Free Streaming TV service to break into Nielsen’s Gauge Report.
Nielsen’s methodology is very criticised so I will spare you the comparison to Cable & Broadcast TV.
The fact of the matter is: Tubi is a force to be reckoned with in the US with 1.3% of Total TV Viewing Time in September 2023 (vs 1.4% in July 2023).
In H1 2023, Tubi clocked in 4B streaming hours.
“The platform continues to scale with 47% growth in ad revenue and 65% growth in total viewing time Q4 over Q4, and we are executing an ambitious strategy to define the next generation of entertainment through our diverse content, passionate audience and innovative tech platform.”
Anjali Sud, CEO Tubi
The Ad Pitch
→ Relevant ads
→ Personalised experience
→ Lower ad load (4-6 mins)
For an ad load comparison with fellow streamers & broadcasters, head over here:
→ Incremental reach
Tubi is gaining momentum, according to the 2023 MRI-Simmons’ Cord Evolution Study (featured in their Stream Report), for its ability to deliver high value, net-new audiences with 33% of Tubi streamers unreachable on other top AVOD services.
→ Brand lift
→ Foot traffic, sales lift
Who’s the typical Tubi viewer?
If only we had that level of granularity for every streamer…
36% of 18-34 years old, wow that must be appealing to advertisers.
Their Tubi Kids and Tubi Español clearly aim to show they can be a destination for kids (only 4% > 18 years old) and hispanics (17%) while their deal with CJ ENM tikes two boxes:
☑️ Grow their 4% Asian audience,
☑️ Answer the high demand for Korean content across all demos.
What’s next for Tubi?
Their newly appointed CEO, Anjali Sud (formerly CEO of Vimeo), will see Tubi moving away from being a founder-led company. Let’s see what changes this will bring to Tubi’s strategy and execution, as well as its leadership’s style and philosophy.
From a business standpoint, I expect to see them grow their FAST business to additional English-speaking markets (as evidenced by their latest Canadian launch), as well as new market entries (fingers crossed for a European launch, most likely in the UK).
At 1st glance, one might say they are slow to embrace international markets (9 markets in 10 years) but if you look closer, you will see that their monthly active users (74M) are almost on par with Pluto TV (who’s live in 35+ markets with 80M MAUs as of Q1’23).
Tubi is slowly but surely building its Free Streaming TV rabbit hole.
That’s it for today but before you go:
Enjoy your weekend and see you next Friday for another edition of Streaming Made Easy!
By day, I run The Local Act, a streaming video consultancy.
Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:
→ Europe Made Easy: Get a trusted partner to launch and grow in Europe.
→ Masterclasses: For executives looking to get up to speed on all things streaming. My “FAST Made Easy” masterclass has been in high demand.
→ Content Marketing: Explore how I can put my 5.5K LinkedIn following + my 3K Newsletter subs to work for your company like I do for mine.
I cater to Streamers, Distribution Platforms and Technology Vendors.
Ping me to see if we’re a fit.