The growing number of households watching video on connected devices like smart TVs is fueling consumer demand for streaming services. Those viewers have a wider variety of choices, including ad-based video-on-demand (AVOD) platforms like Tubi that are free to watch. The pandemic led to a surge in viewership as consumers looked for ways to keep themselves entertained while spending more time at home.

“The streamers at Tubi, we’ve learned a lot especially in the past year as we’ve seen massive growth on the platform and the entire streaming industry has seen huge influx,” Natalie Bastian, vice president of marketing at Tubi, said in this interview with Beet.TV. “Because of this massive growth, we have access to millions of active users monthly, consuming a lot of content.”

Last year, viewers consumed 2.5 billion hours of content on Tubi, which offers a mix of 30,000 free movies and TV shows. Tubi’s average audience is 20 years younger than that for linear TV, a key differentiator for brands seeking to reach Generation Z as the group’s spending power grows.

“We’ve really uncovered what their behaviors are, what content they like to watch and then ultimately, more detail around their basic demographics,” Bastian said. “At a high level, our audience is young, diverse and dispersed across the U.S., so they’re nationally representative.”

Fox Corp. last year bought Tubi for $440 million in cash as media giants gobbled up streaming platforms or launched new services. To help maintain its momentum and reach new viewers, Tubi in January launched its first national advertising campaign.

Source: eMarketer

“This focus was to drive mass appeal and awareness of the Tubi brand, and the availability of all the free content that’s available to consumers,” Bastian said. “For us, it’s really important for us to focus on free, because unlike other platforms, we don’t use free as a tease. We use it as a vehicle to drive consumption.”

The campaign so far has driven a lift in awareness among all demographic groups, early research indicates.

In addition to its consumer marketing efforts, Tubi also is working to raise awareness among advertisers and media buyers. A key selling point is Tubi’s 64% incremental reach to Fox’s broadcast channel, and its 80% incremental reach among the top 25 cable channels.

“That translates into this audience that’s moving away from traditional TV, but also shows there’s a hunger for free, ad-supported content,” Bastian said.

Tubi also highlights to opportunity for brands to stand out on its platform, rather than get lost amid the clutter of other commercials.

“We pride ourselves on having the lowest ad load in the industry, and we recently launched an advanced frequency management tool to allow brands to better optimize their frequency, which translates into a better overall ad experience for brands,” Bastian said. “Other third-party measurement vendors are able to tap into our audience and blend over with campaigns, and drive additional results for brands as well throughout the entire funnel.”

Tubi recently launched a client advisory board to gain greater insights about advertisers and their expectations for over-the-top (OTT) and AVOD platforms.

“That kind information is helping to fuel our focus, especially going into upfronts and the year ahead,” Bastien said. “As brands continue to look for mass scale and reach, it’s not a one-stop shop for streaming yet — it’s a combined approach. It’s important to differentiate and also show how the Tubi audience is complementary to other players in the space.”

You are watching, “The Stream: New Audiences, New Opportunities,” a Beet.TV leadership series presented by Tubi. For more videos, please visit this page.