Fox launches multichannel campaign to turn Tubi into ‘billion dollar business’

Dive Brief:

  • Fox and Tubi this week launched “Free Like Tubi Week” across TV, radio, digital, mobile and other channels, per details emailed to Marketing Dive. The campaign taps into consumer fatigue around subscription services and price hikes, and is an extension of the “Break Free” campaign, Tubi’s first national brand push that launched on Jan. 24 and includes out-of-home (OOH) placement and partnerships across digital, programmatic and social channels.
  • Throughout the campaign, Tubi will sponsor free activations on streaming music service Pandora, mobile game provider Zynga and food delivery service Postmates. The ad-supported service will also host giveaways of Amazon Fire TVs, Vizio TVs and soundbars, and Roku Express devices, along with sponsoring giveaways on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
  • During Fox’s Q2 2021 earnings call on Feb. 9, CEO Lachlan Murdoch called Tubi a “growth engine” for the company, envisioning it as a “billion dollar business” and “core pillar” of the company. The ad-supported free streaming space has seen recent investment and growth from competitors including Amazon’s IMDb TV and Comcast’s Peacock, and Murdoch said that Fox “expect[s] to win in AVOD.”

Dive Insight:

Tubi’s “Free Like Tubi Week,” and its “Break Free” brand campaign, are part of Fox’s efforts to boost its ad-based video on demand (AVOD) service amid competition in the space, including Amazon’s IMDb TV, Viacom’s Pluto TV and the ad-supported version of NBCUniversal’s Peacock, as well as competition from subscription video on demand (SVOD) services, including Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video. Fox acquired Tubi in 2020 for $440 million.

The multichannel campaign demonstrates Tubi’s value proposition as a free service aimed at consumers who are fatigued by a fragmented landscape of multiple increasingly costly subscription services. More than half of U.S. consumers (59%) aren’t willing to pay more than $20 a month for streaming services, and 53% are open to watching ads if it lowers the cost of the services, per a survey by The Trade Desk. By sponsoring free services on mobile apps and giving away home entertainment devices, Tubi can engage with consumers who are looking for alternatives to SVODs, which are generally buzzier than AVODs.

For Fox, Tubi offers another way to grow ad revenue and engage with consumers who are watching less linear TV and are dropping their cable TV subscriptions. Tubi saw yearly unique viewers more than triple and revenue more than double over the first half of the fiscal year, with Tubi’s revenue for the last quarter approximately equal to its revenue for the entire fiscal year before the acquisition, per Fox’s earnings call. In details emailed to Marketing Dive, Fox said Tubi’s monthly active users reached a record 33 million in August, up 65% year-over-year.

“We expect Tubi revenues to more than double in the current fiscal year, to exceed $300 million. And as we look out a few years, we envision Tubi becoming a billion dollar business and a core pillar of Fox,” CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on the call this week.

Murdoch detailed improvements to Tubi’s technology that could make it more attractive to advertisers, including a frequency management tool that reduces ad repetition and allows for more efficient ad buys. Fox was able to add 50 advertisers who had not previously worked with Tubi during the recent upfront season. The development of Tubi could help Fox in the VOD space, without having to invest millions or billions in the development of an SVOD service. Murdoch noted that Fox has embraced AVOD as its direct-to-consumer strategy.

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