People who peek into Fox Nation end up wanting to move there.
Fox News’ top executive says 85% of people who take a one-week free trial of the company’s subscription-based Fox Nation streaming-video service are electing to stay on board, the latest signal of consumer interest in broadband-delivered video. The trend is surfacing as more traditional media companies are working to launch similar efforts.
“Direct to consumer is a new avenue for us,” says Suzanne Scott, the CEO of Fox News, in an interview. The company is focused on reaching its viewers no matter whether they use a TV set, a desktop computer or a mobile device, she says. “The faster this gets and the more effective the mobile devices and the web and the desktop get, people are just going to keep coming,” she says., “It’s going to be part of their daily habit, part of their daily life.”
The large Fox Corp. unit isn’t the only entity seeing demand for streaming video. Walt Disney said in February that its ESPN+ subscription-video service notched more than 2 million subscribers in less than a year, largely thanks to the rights deal it struck recently to show UFC matches. CBS Corp. also said in February that it had reached a goal of 8 million subscribers for “CBS All Access” and a broadband Showtime service, and raised its goal for 2022 to 25 million from 16 million.
AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Comcast’s NBCUniversal are expected to launch new subscription-based streaming portals in the next several months. Viacom, meanwhile, recently acquired the advertising-supported Pluto TV streaming hub for $340 million.
Fox News did not disclose how many subscribers Fox Nation has, but noted it has surpassed internal benchmarks. The service, which offers short-form programming anchored by some of Fox News’ best-known personalities as well as documentaries, launched in November of last year.
Fox News has other innovations in the works for new-tech audiences. Scott says executives are “holding meetings” about a revamp of Fox Business Network’s digital presence. That, says Scott, “is the next adventure for us.”