Fox-owned streaming service Tubi said total viewing hit 2.5 billion hours in 2020, up 58% from 2019.
Half of all viewers of the free, ad-supported platform were younger than 35 years old, the company added in its year-end audience report. Black, Hispanic and Asian audiences made up 39% of Tubi’s total base of 33 million monthly active users.
The coronavirus pandemic has boosted streaming across the board, accelerating the shift in viewing away from legacy TV.
The growth and demographic profile of Tubi are noteworthy for advertisers, the company said. Fox closed its $440 million acquisition of the streaming outfit last year. Facing headwinds at its still-lucrative traditional linear networks, the company has positioned Tubi as a complement to its legacy portfolio and a way for brands to expand their reach.
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Along with viewership stats, the annual report outlined a case study on regional grocer WinnDixie, which found that nearly four out of five of the Tubi households it reached were incremental to those of its linear campaign.
Ad approaches in streaming are still evolving, but in general the experience aims for shorter ad loads and targeting that is superior to “spray and pray” linear blitzes. Early tests of Tubi’s ad tech tools show a 366% reduction in “over-frequency” of spots and 20% efficiency in increasing reach.
In addition to a sizable library of film and TV titles, Tubi has increasingly been used as a platform for Fox unscripted originals like The Masked Singer, which stream after their broadcast network premieres.
When Tubi launched as a startup several years ago, it was among a small cluster of ad-supported streaming services in a marketplace heavily tilted toward subscription services like Netflix and Hulu. AVOD has boomed recently, though, with the $65 billion annual TV advertising business suddenly more in play than ever before. NBCUniversal, Amazon and others have launched new platforms, Pluto has become a key asset for ViacomCBS and Crackle is on a profitable course under its new owners.
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