The sports-focused vMVPD Fubo TV put out earnings for the fourth quarter this week and said that they now boast 547,880 paid subscribers, which represents a 73 percent year-over-year gain.
According to the company, they had about 316,000 subscribers at the end of 2019, and 210,000 at the end of 2018.
The 547,880 figure is far from the most in the vMVPD category, as Hulu + Live TV had about 4 million as of the end of 2020, while YouTube TV had around 3 million the last time it announced a subscriber number, which was last fall. Sling TV had 2.47 million subscribers as of the end of last year.
The company added 92,800 subscribers in the fourth quarter alone, it said, from its third-quarter total of 455,000. Year over year, it gained in every listed metric, including a 66 percent jump in content hours streamed, a 17 percent jump in ARPU (average revenue per user), and a 52 percent gain in Advertising ARPU.
Fubo TV also said that it earned over $100 million in revenue in a quarter for the first time ever. That and the subscriber number both beat analyst expectations, according to Deadline.
“FuboTV’s fourth quarter closed our strongest fiscal year to date,” said David Gandler, co-founder and CEO, fuboTV. “Our record 547,880 paid subscribers streamed more sports, news and entertainment content than ever before. Building on this quarter and year, we remain focused on continued innovation and are excited about our growth opportunities for 2021, including the ongoing expansion of our advertising business and the development of our own sports book."
Fubo TV also has big plans for the new year.
“Our goal for 2021 and beyond is to develop fuboTV into a new kind of media company that combines both innovative streaming video and sports wagering,” Edgar Bronfman Jr., executive chairman, fuboTV, said in the release. “We intend to deliver leading sports, news and entertainment content to a growing subscriber base that transcends the industry's current virtual MVPD model, and are excited about our ability to capitalize on the future market opportunity.”
Last July, FuboTV announced a price hike, around the same time that YouTubeTV raised its own prices. The service raised prices by $5 a month, which was less than the increases by YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV, and it doesn’t appear to have hurt the service’s growth.
At the same time as the hike, Fubo TV announced that it was adding several channels from Disney—ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ABC, Disney Channel, Disney Jr, Disney XD, Freeform, FX, FXX, and Nat Geo—although around the same time it dropped carriage of CNN, TNT and the other Turner networks.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for the National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.