FuboTV, the five-year-old streaming bundle that is now owned by FaceBank Group, revealed a range of viewership statistics and a sharp uptick in 2019 revenue as it prepares to start trading on a major stock exchange.
As of the end of last year, Fubo had 315,789 paid subscribers, up 37% from 2018. While that’s not even 10% of what Hulu has recently reported and also puts it behind comparable streaming bundles from YouTube, AT&T and Dish Network, the offering is clearly making some real money. Fubo said it recorded total revenue of $146.5 million in 2019, up 96% from 2018, and saw streaming hours more than triple.
The information came via a shareholder letter Monday from David Gandler, co-founder and CEO, as the company gets set to upgrade from over-the-counter trading of its shares to a listing on a major stock exchange. Fubo was just acquired by FaceBank Group in a deal that closed last month, and well-traveled media executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. just joined the company as executive chairman.
In the first quarter of 2020, the company is projecting a 75% rise in revenue from the same period in 2019.
Of the full-year 2019 tally, most of it came in the form of subscription revenue, which totaled $133.3 million. Advertising is a much smaller portion, but it is growing more rapidly. While the halt to live sports has curtailed ad spending, an offsetting trend has been ad buyers shifting more dollars to streaming, which generally enables more precise audience targeting.
Average revenue per user (or ARPU) increased 42% in 2019 to $53.80.
Counting both paid and free-trial subscribers, Fubo users streamed 298.7 million hours in 2019, a 210% increase YoY. In December 2019, Fubo’s monthly active users (MAUs) watched an average of 129
hours across the platform.
Initially focused on soccer, Fubo has since broadened out, with packages starting at $55 a month for 100-plus channels and range up to $80 for nearly 200 channels.
Gandler told shareholders that Fubo’s diversification strategy would help it limit the downside of operating in an environment desperately short of live sports on TV due to COVID-19. The company’s “expansion to a cable TV replacement product means we are not just reliant on live sports – news and entertainment typically drives a significant portion of total viewership,” the CEO wrote. “While our business has been impacted by the reduced availability of live sporting events due to current shelter-in-place and related restrictions, we have continued to see growing engagement of our subscribers with news and entertainment content as consumers seek to stay informed and entertained.”
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