Total view time on the free platform by the end of last year reached 163 million hours, the company announced in a press release, an increase of 160% over 2018 levels.
The San Francisco-based company is in expansion mode. Its headcount increased 78% in 2019 to 229 full-time employees. As it continues its international rollout — adding Mexico, the UK and other territories this year to its existing footprint in the U.S., Canada and Australia — the company said it will continue to add workers, noting that view time on its platforms outside the U.S. rose 357% in 2019.
The AVOD space, which Tubi helped establish initially in the U.S. after launching in 2014, has been growing more crowded. NBCUniversal will launch an AVOD tier of Peacock, its new streaming service, in April. ViacomCBS owns Pluto TV, which reported 20 million monthly active users as of last November (with updated numbers expected next week, when the company releases its next quarterly earnings). Crackle, initially run by Sony, is now operated in a joint venture with AVOD specialist Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. And Amazon’s IMDb TV, which launched a year ago as Freedive, is already a significant new player.
Tubi said it plans to keep adding to its library of 20,000 film and TV titles in 2020, anticipating an outlay of hundreds of millions of dollars.
“Our growth over the last year is a clear testament to the success of our focused strategy in a now-cluttered marketplace,” CEO Farhad Massoudi said. “We’re excited people globally have embraced Tubi as a complement to subscription video and aim to deliver an even larger library of premium content in 2020.”
Tubi is backed by Foundation Capital, Cota Capital, and Jump Capital, as well as strategic investor Tegna Ventures.