In the fiercely competitive world of streaming services dominated by giants like Netflix and Disney+, Tubi, the ad-supported platform owned by Fox Corp, is emerging as a surprising victor, the LATimes reports. Amidst what analysts call “streamflation,” where subscription prices for major services have soared, Tubi has capitalized on offering free content, attracting an increasingly substantial audience.

Surpassing Expectations and Outpacing Competitors

Recent Nielsen data reveals Tubi's remarkable growth, marking May as its most-watched month ever with an average audience of 1 million viewers, up 46% from the previous year. This surge positioned Tubi ahead of notable competitors like Disney+, Peacock, Max, Paramount+, Roku Channel, and Pluto TV in terms of viewership. Only YouTube, among free ad-supported platforms, outshines Tubi in terms of viewership numbers.

Despite a sluggish advertising market, Tubi reported a 22% year-over-year increase in third-quarter revenue, defying expectations and solidifying its position as a formidable player in the streaming arena. Analysts from MoffettNathanson have highlighted Tubi's accelerating growth trajectory, attributing its success partly to the escalating subscription costs of its competitors.

Founded in 2017 and acquired by Fox for $440 million in 2020, Tubi offers a vast library of 250,000 TV episodes and movies. The platform resonates particularly well with “cord-nevers” and cord-cutters, comprising 63% of its user base, many of whom are multicultural and diverse in ethnicity and orientation. Tubi's median viewer age of 39 underscores its appeal to younger audiences, who prefer on-demand viewing over traditional linear TV.

Tubi's content strategy spans a wide spectrum of genres, from horror to sci-fi, catering to varied tastes and demographics. It has also become a haven for underappreciated TV series and niche genres, often overlooked by mainstream networks. For instance, the revival of canceled shows like “Believe” has found new life on Tubi, resonating with audiences who missed them during their initial broadcast.

Embracing Original Programming and Community Engagement

Looking to expand its offerings, the free service is venturing into original programming with “The Z Suite,” featuring Lauren Graham, a series exploring generational divides in the workplace. This move signifies Tubi's evolution from a repository of existing content to a creator of original productions, aiming to capture and engage its audience further.

Social media has also played a pivotal role in Tubi's success, with platforms like Reddit and TikTok fostering communities around its content. Enthusiastic fans contribute to Tubi's visibility and engagement, sharing recommendations and insights that amplify the platform's reach beyond traditional marketing efforts.

In conclusion, Tubi's ascent in the streaming wars underscores its savvy approach to providing free, ad-supported content in an increasingly crowded and expensive subscription landscape. By focusing on diverse content, engaging its community, and expanding into original programming, it continues to defy expectations and carve out a significant niche in the evolving digital entertainment landscape.