Fox Nation still mum on subscribers as distribution expands

Fox Nation today added another key distribution deal for its subscription streaming service but it has still yet to disclose subscriber numbers.

The service—which offers original programming along with licensed content and some live coverage—reached a deal with YouTube TV that will let customers add Fox Nation as an optional $5.99 per month premium channel. The company also has pay TV distribution deals with Comcast Xfinity and Cox Contour along with apps on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Roku and Xbox One as well as Samsung and Vizio smart TVs.

But nowhere in the news about YouTube TV did Fox Nation provide a subscriber count update, which has been the case since the service launched in 2018.

Fox has hinted at performance metrics for the service. Earlier this year, Fox President Jason Klarman told Variety that 80% of customers who try Fox Nation “typically stick with it.” During Fox’s most recent earnings call, CEO Lachlan Murdoch said that Fox Nation had its best-ever quarter for customer acquisitions thanks to expanded content offerings, something that continued with the recent launch of Fox Weather.

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Fox readily shares streaming data related to Tubi, the ad-supported multichannel video service it acquired in 2020 for approximately $440 million. The company said Tubi notched total view time of more than 900 million hours during its fiscal fourth quarter. But nothing yet for Fox Nation.

In August, Murdoch offered some insights into how Fox thinks about investing in original content to boost engagement with its streaming customers. The company has just begun to spend on Tubi Originals, which he called “price effective” content that can drive consistent amounts of viewing and monetization when targeted and promoted correctly.

“So, the model for the investment into the original programming is really derived specifically by the exact amount of revenue that we can derive out of that original program. So, it's—unlike SVOD, where you're creating original programming to pull subscribers in, often once they're in the platform, they don't watch that program and they watch other library programming,” said Murdoch, according to a Motley Fool transcript. “We're not interested in the subscriber acquisition. We're purely interested in the time they spend on the platform and the amount of content they are consuming.”