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Tubi Advertising Guide: How it Works & Ad Costs

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Tubi Advertising Guide: How it Works & Ad Costs

Streaming

More consumers than ever are cutting the cord and switching to streaming.

The number of Americans who watch television via cable or satellite has plummeted from 76% in 2015 to 56% in 2021. Among viewers aged 18-24, 87% choose to access TV content through the internet. And over 65% of cord-cutters want free or reduced cost ad-supported services — like Tubi.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about advertising on Tubi as the platform and CTV as a whole continues to grow. 

What is Tubi?

Tubi is an ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) service with over 240,000 movies and TV shows and more than 100 local and live news channels. Their content library is available to stream on 25+ platforms and devices including Roku, Xbox, Playstation, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV, as well as apps for iOS, Android, and the web. The service is available in the US, Canada, Australia, Mexico, and Central America, with expansion into the UK and Europe currently underway.

The service is free to all users, and there is no ad-free option. This means advertisers can reach Tubi’s entire audience of over 78 million monthly active users that are difficult to reach through linear TV advertising. According to Fox, who acquired Tubi for $440 million in March 2020, “Tubi is where unmatched content meets best-in-class innovation, offering advertisers a new way to break through to massive, young, diverse, incremental, and unduplicated audiences you can’t find anywhere else.” This makes it a compelling opportunity for advertisers.

While the platform is relatively new, it’s growing fast. Tubi now accounts for 1.5% of all TV and Streaming consumption, making Tubi the most-watched free TV and movie streaming service in the United States. 

How Much Do Tubi Ads Cost?

Tubi uses a cost per mille (CPM) pricing structure, so the cost of a Tubi ad depends on which audiences you target and which ad format you’d like to use. As a basic estimate, brands should prepare to pay at least $20 per thousand views on Tubi. However, brands partnering with a direct response agency should anticipate 2-3x more efficient CPMs when compared to the general market.

Like most digital marketing platforms, the true cost comes down to competition. Certain audiences, like young adults aged 18 to 24, are frequently targeted by advertisers – meaning higher CPMs are needed to win the media buy. That also means your CPMs are subject to change when more competitors enter or exit the marketplace.

Another factor is ad format. A 60 second ad will cost more than a 30 second ad, and a 120 second ad will cost more than a 60 second ad. Other less traditional formats – like brand takeovers or content sponsorships – operate on an individualized pricing scale.

Finally, don’t forget that simply creating your ad costs money. If you’re trying to control costs and cut corners, a TV commercial could cost as little as $1,000. However, most prime-time quality ad spots cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce. This is because producing a commercial is full of cost centers, including filming crews, actors, coordinators, makeup artists, travel expenses, and rentals – to name a few. 

Why Advertise on Tubi?

Tubi offers an excellent opportunity for advertisers to create a positive brand experience, drive brand lift, and boost ROI. One CPG brand saw a 41% lift in ad awareness from a Tubi campaign, with purchase consideration among lapsed customers increasing by 47%. 

Tubi ads are also non-skippable, giving brands 100% share of attention with “98%+ Viewability as verified by MOAT.” Tubi also features a light ad load, with ads taking up only four to six minutes per hour of viewing, occurring every 12-15 minutes at three to five ads per pod. According to Tubi, this gives advertisers higher brand recognition and recall.   

However, one of the biggest benefits of advertising on Tubi is their continued investment in streaming advertising technology. The platform’s proprietary Advanced Frequency Management (AFM) solution allows marketers to better manage ad frequency, so they can reach more viewers and maximize their ROI from Tubi campaigns. Early tests of the AFM solution indicate a 366% reduction in over-frequency and a significant increase in reach. 

Tubi is also investing heavily in partnerships with ad tech vendors, allowing advertisers to make more informed advertising decisions. In 2023, Tubi announced integrations with VideoAmp, LiveRamp, and Comscore, adding to their existing partnerships with The Trade Desk and Neilsen. These technologies help advertisers plan and forecast the impact of their Tubi campaigns, target audiences more precisely, and measure the holistic, multichannel impact of a great Tubi ad.

In addition to the impressive features offered by Tubi’s ad tech partners, these cutting-edge partnerships are a strong indicator that Tubi will continue to invest in robust solutions for advertisers.

The Demographics of Tubi Viewers

Tubi describes its users as young, unique, diverse, and unattainable elsewhere. Here’s a quick breakdown of the demographics on Tubi:

  • The average Tubi streamer is 37 years old, compared to 58 years old for the average American TV viewer
  • 54% of Tubi viewers are female, compared to 44% of linear TV viewers
  • 42% of users identify as multicultural, which is far higher than industry estimates for cable TV
  • 75% of Tubi users live in households that don’t use cable television
  • 85% of users watch Tubi on their TV screens, meaning a Tubi ad is likely to reach an entire household

When examining these statistics holistically, it’s clear that Tubi provides marketers with a ripe opportunity to reach consumers that are increasingly difficult to reach through traditional TV advertising.

Which Ad Types Are Available on Tubi?

Tubi offers multiple ad formats including in-stream and in-app placements, with a variety of ad formats and ad lengths to choose from. Here’s an overview of each type of ad on Tubi.

In-stream Video Ad Options

The most popular ad type on Tubi is the in-stream video ad. These ads are always unskippable, full screen, and can be anywhere from 6 seconds to 90 seconds long.

Advertisers can choose between two types of video ad placements: Pre-roll and mid-roll ads. Pre-rolls are often pricier, but tend to command the viewer’s full attention since they occur right when the viewer starts watching. Mid-rolls, on the other hand, occur every 15 minutes or so during the TV show or movie.

Compared to other ad-supported services, Tubi provides a fairly seamless mid-roll ad experience for viewers. Viewers get a ten second countdown before ads appear, and ads are often placed during scene changes or slow moments to ensure viewers have a positive, less intrusive ad viewing experience. 

Interactive Billboards 

Interactive billboards appear at the bottom of a video ad during a commercial break. If a viewer wants to engage with your ad, they can use their remote, cursor, or device to engage with interactive elements or click through to your brand’s website.

Since these appear alongside a video ad, viewers will see the banner for 6 to 90 seconds. Brands that use interactive billboard ads usually provide a link to their product catalog or store locator, giving viewers the option to take immediate action. 

In the example above, viewers may either passively watch the commercial, or use their remote to see all available color options for the SUV shown in the commercial.

Pause Ads

Pause ads appear when a viewer pauses a movie or TV show. Instead of simply freezing the stream, Tubi will show a full-screen display ad to viewers. Pause ads provide an excellent opportunity for brands to give viewers a simple message along with a scannable QR code, inviting them to engage with your brand before they walk out of the room to grab a drink or make popcorn.

Brand Spotlight Sponsorships

Brand Spotlight Sponsorships give advertisers an opportunity to “own” curated categories of licensed and original content. With this ad type, brands can feature their brand name next to evergreen and seasonal content categories like Tubi Kids, Valentine’s Day, or Holiday Hits. 

Brands will also get first dibs on the category’s primetime ad spots and  access unique co-branding initiatives. Brands can show their logo next to Tubi’s logo during ad spots, and Tubi will help amplify associated social campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Brand Spotlight Sponsorships allow brands to be front and center for seasonal moments, and content releases. Whether it is a content bucket for seasonal holiday, or premiere of a new show, Tubi curates unique branded sponsorship opportunities.

–  Alicia Jewell, Sr. Manager, Media Strategy & Operations (Streaming)

Tubi Total Takeovers

If you want to think bigger than Tubi Originals, a Tubi Total Takeover might be the right fit for you. This option allows brands to obtain a massive amount of ad space across Tubi’s entire content library for one day only. When viewers start a show, your video ad with a custom billboard will be the first thing they see. 

However, there are some exceptions involved. For example, your ads may not always play as a pre-roll on TV shows from major traditional networks during primetime. Besides this one caveat, Tubi promises advertisers a 100% share of voice during a Tubi Total Takeover.

Beyond these ad types, Tubi also offers audience-specific advertising packages. These utilize a mixture of ad formats to reach audiences like Gen Z or gamers. For example, the “Gamers Sponsorship” package specifically targets users that watch Tubi on their gaming console using billboard and video ads. 

Best Practices for Advertising on Tubi

Advertising on Tubi can bring a lot of benefits to brands – but it’s important to follow a few best practices to ensure you start off on the right foot. Here’s a few important tips to keep in mind:

Identify and understand your audience

Making the most of your Tubi ad investment requires an intricate understanding of your target audience. Advertisers can choose to reach audiences in two main ways: First, by targeting “content clusters,” which helps you target by program and time-of-day, just like traditional TV advertising. Second, you can target your audience directly using first and third-party data.

Typically, advertisers will see better results from precisely targeting audiences – but only if they can properly define their target audience and have the data to back it up. For example, if you’re trying to encourage viewers to download a financial services app, don’t simply target men under 40 because that “just seems right.” Instead, ask questions like: What is my target consumer’s level of education? What is their annual income? Are they more likely to own their own home? Building highly detailed customer profiles using your own data about customers will help you maximize your success on Tubi.

Longer ads aren’t always better

Marketers with a long history in TV advertising may be used to producing 30 second ads by default, but don’t count out the impact of 6 and 15 second ad spots on OTT platforms like Tubi. The viewership of Tubi skews young, and many members of Gen Z report having a shorter attention span than their older counterparts.

We recommend that clients experiment with a range of different ad lengths and study the outcomes. For example, you might find that your 6 second mid-roll ads have a better return on ad spend than a 30 second mid-roll ad. If that’s the case, there might not be much justification to pay extra for more airtime.

One of the strongest benefits of streaming platforms like Tubi is their innate data granularity and campaign measurement capabilities. Consequently, brands are leaving money on the table if they don’t have a plan for tracking and monitoring these metrics. To make the most of the data, brands should set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals for each campaign, then use tactics like creative testing to optimize for that goal.

Measure and test ad performance

On a basic level, brands can use Tubi’s proprietary technology to measure reach, engagement, and CPMs for their Tubi ads. Brands can also feed that Tubi data into platform-agnostic measurement technology to understand how their Tubi investments impact their larger multichannel marketing strategy.

Use compelling CTAs

A compelling call-to-action (CTA) can make viewers significantly more likely to engage with your ad. Building a great call to action starts by considering your goals. For example, if you’d like to build brand awareness about your product, encourage viewers to “learn more” by visiting your website. Or, if you’d like to increase sales, tell them where they could buy your product today.

It’s key to motivate viewers to act with urgency while making engagement as simple as possible. QR codes are excellent for both of these considerations, since 95% of consumers watch TV with their phone in hand or nearby. Users simply need to scan the code and are immediately transported to a special landing page on your website that contains more product information or even an exclusive discount code. Other options include directing them to text a number, make a call, or engage with your brand on social media.

For even better results, keep a close eye on how often consumers engage with your CTA and whether or not that engagement leads to a desired action. Then, run a split test by swapping out your existing call to action with a fresh call to action. This won’t just keep your campaigns from going stale, it will also help you figure out the best way to message your audience.

Stay informed

Last but certainly not least, it’s crucial to keep up with advancements in the Tubi advertising space. Not only are more users joining the platform every year, Tubi is taking full advantage of their continued growth by consistently rolling out new technology and quality of life updates for advertisers. 

We recommend keeping up with the changes by occasionally visiting Tubi’s blog and reading industry streaming reports – or, you can simplify the process by partnering with a Streaming agency that understands Tubi inside and out.

Final Thoughts: Is Tubi Advertising Worth It?

Tubi offers brands of all sizes a great opportunity to break into the streaming advertising space, or simply expand their reach to the ever-growing number of cord cutters. With CPMs of approximately $20 – or less if you partner with a streaming agency like Tinuiti – Tubi is almost certainly worth it to any advertiser with an intentional, data-driven strategy. However, making the most of your investments in an increasingly fractured streaming landscape can be difficult.

If your brand wants to start advertising on Tubi, but the streaming space seems a bit intimidating, Tinuiti can help. We offer robust TV & Audio services through a team that can help you determine where to best invest your streaming advertising budget using our innovative buying tactics and strategic network relationships. If you prefer to manage your own campaigns, our proprietary Bliss Point technology will give you all the tools you need to holistically evaluate the omnichannel impact of each dollar invested into Tubi and other advertising platforms.

Ready to learn more about how Tubi advertising can help your brand reach key audiences? Contact us today.

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.

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Being position-less secures a marketer’s position for a lifetime

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Optimove Positionless Marketer Optimove

On March 20, 2024, the Position-less Marketer was introduced on MarTech.org and my keynote address at Optimove’s user conference.

Since that initial announcement, we have introduced the term “Position-less Marketer” to hundreds of leading marketing executives and learned that readers and the audience interpreted it in several ways. This article will document a few of those interpretations and clarify what “position-less” means regarding marketing prowess.

As a reminder, data analytics and AI, integrated marketing platforms, automation and more make the Position-less Marketer possible. Plus, new generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Canna-GPT, Github, Copilot and DALL-E offer human access to powerful new capabilities that generate computer code, images, songs and videos, respectively, with human guidance.

Position-less Marketer does not mean a marketer without a role; quite the opposite

Speaking with a senior-level marketer at a global retailer, their first interpretation may be a marketer without a role/position. This was a first-glance definition from more than 60% of the marketers who first heard the term. But on hearing the story and relating it to “be position-less” in other professions, including music and sports, most understood it as a multidimensional marketer — or, as we noted, realizing your multipotentiality. 

One executive said, phrasing position-less in a way that clarified it for me was “unlocking your multidimensionality.” She said, “I like this phrase immensely.” In reality, the word we used was “multipotentiality,” and the fact that she landed on multidimensionality is correct. As we noted, you can do more than one thing.

The other 40% of marketing executives did think of the “Position-less Marketer” as a marketing professional who is not confined or defined by traditional marketing roles or boundaries. In that sense, they are not focused only on branding or digital marketing; instead, they are versatile and agile enough to adjust to the new conditions created by the tools that new technology has to offer. As a result, the Position-less Marketer should be comfortable working across channels, platforms and strategies, integrating different approaches to achieve marketing goals effectively.

Navigating the spectrum: Balancing specialization and Position-less Marketing

Some of the most in-depth feedback came from data analytic experts from consulting firms and Chief Marketing Officers who took a more holistic view.

Most discussions of the “Position-less Marketer” concept began with a nuanced perspective on the dichotomy between entrepreneurial companies and large enterprises.

They noted that entrepreneurial companies are agile and innovative, but lack scalability and efficiency. Conversely, large enterprises excel at execution but struggle with innovation due to rigid processes.

Drawing parallels, many related this to marketing functionality, with specialists excelling in their domain, but needing a more holistic perspective and Position-less Marketers having a broader understanding but needing deep expertise.

Some argued that neither extreme is ideal and emphasized the importance of balancing specialization and generalization based on the company’s growth stage and competitive landscape.

They highlight the need for leaders to protect processes while fostering innovation, citing Steve Jobs’ approach of creating separate teams to drive innovation within Apple. They stress the significance of breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration across functions, even if it means challenging existing paradigms.

Ultimately, these experts recommended adopting a Position-less Marketing approach as a competitive advantage in today’s landscape, where tight specialization is common. They suggest that by connecting dots across different functions, companies can offer unique value to customers. However, they caution against viewing generalization as an absolute solution, emphasizing the importance of context and competitive positioning.

These marketing leaders advocate for a balanced marketing approach that leverages specialization and generalization to drive innovation and competitive advantage while acknowledging the need to adapt strategies based on industry dynamics and competitive positioning.

Be position-less, but not too position-less — realize your multipotentiality

This supports what was noted in the March 20th article: to be position-less, but not too position-less. When we realize our multipotentiality and multidimensionality, we excel as humans. AI becomes an augmentation.

But just because you can individually execute on all cylinders in marketing and perform data analytics, writing, graphics and more from your desktop does not mean you should.

Learn when being position-less is best for the organization and when it isn’t. Just because you can write copy with ChatGPT does not mean you will write with the same skill and finesse as a professional copywriter. So be position-less, but not too position-less.

Position-less vs. being pigeonholed

At the same time, if you are a manager, do not pigeonhole people. Let them spread their wings using today’s latest AI tools for human augmentation.

For managers, finding the right balance between guiding marketing pros to be position-less and, at other times, holding their position as specialists and bringing in specialists from different marketing disciplines will take a lot of work. We are at the beginning of this new era. However, working toward the right balance is a step forward in a new world where humans and AI work hand-in-hand to optimize marketing teams.

We are at a pivot point for the marketing profession. Those who can be position-less and managers who can optimize teams with flawless position-less execution will secure their position for a lifetime.

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