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Tubi claims Americans spend $120 per month on TV services

The ad-supported streaming service said Americans polled by a research partner prefer ad-supported streaming services.

The ad-supported streaming service said Americans polled by a research partner prefer ad-supported streaming services.

A graphic that accompanied Tubi's "The Stream" marketing report. (Courtesy image)
A graphic that accompanied Tubi’s “The Stream” marketing report. (Courtesy image)

Fox Corporation’s free, ad-supported streaming service Tubi released a new marketing report this week that makes an assortment of unusual and unsurprising claims.

The report, called “Tubi: The Stream,” included the findings of a poll conducted by Harris on behalf of the streaming service that evaluated answers from more than 2,500 American adults who stream at least one hour of content each week.

Among other things, the report claims American households spend around $120 per month buying streaming services and “TV packages.” The report didn’t differentiate between the two, but did say that the figure was about $18 higher than what most Americans spend on a fuel each month.

“With this high price tag, over half — 53 percent — of Gen Z and millennials believe they’re overspending on streaming, with 71 percent canceling due to tiered memberships that force them to pay more to access certain content,” the report claims.

The report also makes the bold claim that 58 percent of viewers surveyed “would rather watch ads while streaming…than pay full price for an ad-free service,” with 62 percent going all-in on their preference for “free, ad-supported streaming services over paid.”

The apparent news there is that people prefer paying less for something if they can, and would rather have something for free if the option is available to them.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Tubi, the Fox-owned service offers thousands of movies and TV episodes that are available to stream for free, with the costs associated with licensing and delivering the content supplemented by short ad interruptions throughout the duration of a film or show.

“Viewers love Tubi because we provide frictionless access to a massive library of content where they can experience the thrill of discovering entertainment they can’t find anywhere else,” Cynthia Clevenger, the Senior Vice Prseident of Tubi’s Business to Business (B2B) Marketing, said in a statement.

Clevenger continued: “Tubi’s growth reflects a broader consumer shift towards ad-supported streaming, and understanding next-gen audiences is critical for us to create a differentiated streaming experience. We’re proud to extend these insights to marketers, sharing how to best connect with Gen Z and Millennials.”

Content tiles for TV shows and movies available through Fox's free streaming service Tubi.
Tubi offers hundreds of television shows and movies that are available to stream for free. (Graphic by The Desk)

Tubi’s intention with the report, of course, is not simply altruistic: The report clearly favors ad-supported products like theirs, and is intended to give Fox greater leverage in its dealings with marketers who want to reach consumers across various streaming platforms.

Fox almost didn’t need this report: Since the company acquired Tubi several years ago (price tag: $440 million), the service has rapidly scaled in both customer adoption and sales. As of last September, more than 74 million streamers were watching content on Tubi every month, and its advertising revenue long surpassed that of Fox’s flagship broadcast network (to the point where Tubi is largely cited as boosting Fox’s traditional TV ad revenue over the past few financial quarters).

Tubi is also passing up some if its bigger-named rivals: According to Nielsen’s “The Gauge” report, Tubi accounted for 1.5 percent of all streaming hours among people aged 2 and older in January, more than the Warner Bros Discovery’s Max (1.3 percent), The Roku Channel (1.1 percent), Paramount Plus (0.9 percent) and Pluto TV (0.7 percent) — and only slightly less than Comcast’s Peacock (1.6 percent).

The reason is unsurprising: Premium streaming services are getting more expensive thanks to a steady wave of price increases over the past few years. Americans are cutting down on premium streaming services and switching to ad-based plans in order to lower their bills. As more people get accustomed to watching content with ads, Tubi is a service that naturally fits into their TV diets.

Tubi and other ad-supported streaming services stand to make serious bank from this trend: According to Digital TV Research, ad-supported streaming (AVOD) services will see their revenue grow at a faster rate than subscription-based products (SVOD), with AVOD platforms like Tubi projected to earn $69 billion by 2029, up from $39 billion last year.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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