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Tubi or Not Tubi?

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Tubi seems to have found a sturdy foothold by focusing efforts on creating a true personalization experience that mimics efforts of more elegant SVOD services. Photo: Richard Foreman/ABC/Courtesy of Everett Collection
Julia Alexander
March 28, 2024

Conversations about the streaming industry are often limited to a handful of megacap players: Netflix, with its 260 million global subscribers, or Disney+ (150 million subs) and Max (just under 100 million subs) and their twin journeys to erase billions of dollars in debt. Then the mid-tier services, like Peacock and Paramount+, which sit at 30 million and 67.5 million subscribers, respectively, but exist without much rationale besides participating in the latest digital television arms race. 

But the direct-to-consumer revolution isn’t just about premium platforms, or even their tech industry rivals, like Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video. Free, ad-supported television (FAST), in particular, has risen in prominence as advertising budgets migrate from linear to streaming. Tubi, which Fox acquired in 2020 for $440 million, has grown its viewership share in the U.S. during the past year from 1.3 percent to 1.7 percent, a sizable bump that actually put it ahead of Peacock (1.4 percent) and Max (1.3 percent) in February, according to Nielsen. Tubi is also gaining stronger traction than FAST competitors Pluto TV, Freevee, and The Roku Channel, which have hovered around one percent of total audience share.