Tubi Report Predicts Free Streaming Audience Will Surpass Paid Streaming by Mid-2022




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Fox’s free streaming service Tubi announced some end of the year numbers today, sharing that it saw 3.6 billion hours watched in 2021, a 40% year over year increase in total viewing time, and double-digit growth in all audience segments. Numbers came from The Stream: 2022 Audience Insights for Brands, Tubi’s annual audience report providing insights that help shape streaming and TV marketing strategies. The report highlighted the growth of ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) services, which it says are set to surpass SVOD services this year in audience size.

“Our findings in The Stream bring AVOD to the forefront of streaming investment planning for brands in 2022, as well as a necessary complement to existing linear TV strategy,” said Natalie Bastian, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Tubi. “At Tubi, we’ve focused on connecting with new communities — both by accessing FOX’s desirable audience as well as partnering with next generation platforms to reach audiences not found on linear television — and it’s paid off with rapid growth among key audience segments.”

According to the report, AVOD services grew twice as fast (+16%) as SVOD (+8%) in 2021. The Stream predicts that AVOD users will surpass SVOD users this year.

“Free streaming platforms are garnering distinct, loyal audiences,” the report says, with more cord cutters listing free services as their “television of choice” while getting more picky about which SVOD services they’re willing to pay for month after month.

While many cord cutters prefer to stream without ads, this report shows that viewers are becoming more receptive to ads, especially when it means getting quality content for free. With the report coming from Tubi, the free streaming service notes that it has “some of the lightest ad load in the AVOD space” with 4-6 ads per hour while traditional TV averages 13-17 minutes per hour. The key, the research shows, is keeping the number of ads low and avoiding repetitive ads to keep the audience happy and ensure a positive return on investment for advertisers.

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