- Tubi is experiencing a 73.1% demand growth rate, outperforming other streaming platforms.
- Tubi's success can be attributed to its diverse content library, featuring licensed shows and movies like Hannibal and Doctor Who.
- The rising cost of streaming services and the crackdown on password sharing have led viewers to question the value they are getting for their money.
The year 2023 saw streaming platforms sink their claws deeper into the entertainment industry, as cinema continues to struggle to achieve pre-pandemic results. However, in the world of Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and Max, it appears to be the free service Tubi that’s making all the right moves in a crowded space, as viewers race to it for content. As the WrapPro reported, Tubi is experiencing a 73.1% demand growth rate, effectively meaning it’s outperforming every other platform out there.
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But why is the Fox-owned streaming service experiencing such phenomenal growth trajectory, especially since it’s already been around for almost a decade? Is it merely just a reflection of the current economic times or something more? And most importantly, what can the others learn from it to make themselves stand out in a highly competitive landscape? Let’s look at why Tubi is taking the market by storm and what it indicates about the streaming wars at present.
It’s a sign of the times, baby!
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: 2023 sucked. There were job losses, inflation ran rampant, and people had to take a good hard look at their budget and finances. Any financial advisor will tell their client the first place they should cut expenditure is in their entertainment budget. As a result, people had to make difficult decisions between which streaming service stays and which goes. In some extreme cases, everything went.
It wasn’t too tough a decision to make this year, though, since the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strike put the industry on shutdown for about half the year and resulted in many shows and movies being delayed or postponed. This meant there wasn’t a flow of great content being produced – or promoted – so it was a much easier choice to cancel a service when there was nothing of interest on it.
Something like Tubi fills the void here. While the original productions are unlikely to win any awards, the licensed shows and movies feature real gems, such as Hannibal or Doctor Who. Sure, hardly any of the films or series are brand new, but no one can deny their quality. Also, if nothing new is really hitting other platforms, why not watch the older classics?
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The rising cost of streaming services and the clampdown of password sharing
Most streaming services raised their prices in 2023. To be fair, these aren’t outrageous increases, but they do cause the viewer to pause and ask themselves if they are getting value for their money. If someone is only watching one series or movie a month on a platform, it isn’t worth their while to keep paying a monthly fee for it.
At the same time, there has been a huge drive to prevent password sharing, as streamers want people to have their own accounts instead of bumming off their friends and family. From a business perspective, it’s understandable; however, streamers shot themselves in the foot with the golden rule of business (and drug cartels) here: If you give someone something for free for too long, don’t be surprised if they refuse to pay for it later.
Tubi makes money the old-fashioned way: Advertising. The platform inserts several ads into its programming or whenever viewers hop from content. While it might annoy people in an age when no one wants to watch ads, it’s the trade-off for free content. Plus, there’s no need for sign-ups or other charges, so the audience is far likelier to accept these terms rather than feel the burn in the bank account every month.
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Streaming has become too fragmented
When streaming arrived, it promised to tackle two big issues: The cost of cable television and the lack of ability to watch what someone wants when they want it. In the early days, streaming services achieved just that, as many people cancelled cable and satellite television subscriptions to sign up with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
The revolution was here; however, like with most reforms, everyone jumped on the train and it became so heavy that it veered off the rails at the next corner. Suddenly, every media giant wanted its own platform, as the world went from a few services to many. This brought with it a new challenge: Since every service wanted to prove its worth, it needed exclusivity when it comes to their content, so it stopped licensing to other platforms and started creating its own new programming. Of course, this resulted in an influx of new shows and movies to watch all the time, but a viewer would need to have access to that platform and all the others too. Instead of having access to one platform for $10 a month, a viewer would need access to 10 for $100. Starting to sound an awful lot like cable, right?
In many ways, Tubi cut through the noise and mess. It might not be producing the latest House of the Dragon or The Crown, but there’s something to watch from a variety of networks and studios on there. It captures the essence of how and why streaming changed the world of entertainment, and it’s never forgotten it. Unsurprisingly, the audience is noticing it too.
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