Live TV streaming service fuboTV has made a name for itself by offering a stronger sports-centric channel lineup than any other streaming service. In an email interview with Flixed, the company’s co-founder and CEO David Gandler shared the reasons for fuboTV’s success in the highly competitive streaming business.
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Premium Experience Through Technology
“Technology plays a major role in everything we do at fuboTV,” Gandler said. “We didn’t start out as a traditional broadcaster who transitioned to digital. We built a live TV streaming service from the start.”
Not being bound to tradition has let fuboTV innovate the way subscribers find content to watch. Beyond just offering a digital TV guide to its users, the fuboTV apps include a “dynamic discovery” feature that lets subscribers browse programming with live previews on the home page. A single click shifts the screen seamlessly into the fullscreen video experience.
Last year, just in time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup soccer matches, fuboTV began streaming in 4K resolution and high dynamic range (HDR) video quality. A year later, fuboTV is still the only streaming service with a live 4K option. Subscribers can get 4K streams of FS1 and Fox for coverage of soccer, Major League Baseball and other sports events.
The launch of its 4K streaming feature came in response to strong demand from fuboTV’s customer base. “We are heavily focused on [subscribers’] feedback when implementing product design decisions,” Gandler told Flixed. He also pointed out that fuboTV’s new app for the Samsung Smart TV platform was another customer-driven development project.
“It’s features like these that make for a better and more premium user experience with fuboTV,” Gandler said.
FuboTV’s Content Strategy: Sports and More
A great experience would not mean much without content that people want to watch and fuboTV is continuing to make sports the cornerstone of its channel lineup. The company offers more than 40 sports channels as part of its standard subscription plan and annually streams more than 30,000 sports events.
At the core of that offering is soccer — the sport that Gandler co-founded fuboTV to stream. “No other service offers more soccer,” Gandler told Flixed, “including the top five most popular leagues in the USA.”
Yet fuboTV’s continued success depends on offering more than sports. In addition to the 40 sports channels, fuboTV subscribers get another 45 channels including local stations and basic cable classics like HGTV, CNN and Lifetime. Most recently, fuboTV and Discovery Communications signed a deal to add Animal Planet, Discovery and a dozen other fact-based channels to fuboTV’s lineup.
“We’re there for the sports fan,” Gandler told Flixed, “but we have something for everyone else in the home. We’re a cable replacement product for all.”
The balance of content and technology seems to be working. The company announced last year that its subscriber count was approaching the quarter-million mark, more than twice as many as in 2017. More importantly, those subscribers are watching fuboTV a lot.
“Our subscribers are spending nearly 80 hours a month on fuboTV,” Gandler said. “Clearly there is a huge appetite for fuboTV’s offering, which is very gratifying for me.”
Check out the full transcript of Flixed’s interview with fuboTV co-founder and CEO David Gandler for more about the company’s technology and its focus on customer feedback.
Flixed: Sports have always anchored fuboTV’s value proposition, but other vMVPDs offer cable-like lineups of sports channels. How does fuboTV’s lineup make your service the better choice?
David Gandler: fuboTV is the clear choice for the sports fan. We have over 30,000 live sporting events on fuboTV every year spanning every sport, league and team plus tent poles like the Olympics and World Cups. Our base channel package, fubo Standard, has more than 40 channels with sports. And no other service offers more soccer, including the top five most popular leagues in the USA.
Our sports offering is more than just about the content lineup though. We give our subscribers a premium viewing experience and that makes us the better choice for the sports fan. We’re the only virtual MVPD with streams in 4K, including this month’s Women’s World Cup. We’ve also streamed MLB, English Premier League, El Clasico, NCAA basketball and football games and much more in 4K.
But while fuboTV is very sports-focused, we also offer a full lineup of entertainment and news. So that means we’re there for the sports fan, but we have something for everyone else in the home. We’re a cable replacement product for all.
Flixed: What role do technologies like 4K HDR play in differentiating the sports experience on fuboTV?
David Gandler: Technology plays a major role in everything we do at fuboTV. Unlike many of our competitors, we’re a tech company at our core. We didn’t start out as a traditional broadcaster who transitioned to digital. We built a live TV streaming service from the start, which enables us to come to market with new and innovative features before anyone else.
4K HDR streams are an example – we launched these a year ago and our competitors still don’t have it. The launch of “dynamic discovery” is another product differentiator. Our patent-pending interface lets subscribers browse live entertainment, news and sports programming via an in-progress preview directly on the home screen and seamlessly click to full video. It’s features like these that make for a better and more premium user experience with fuboTV.
Flixed: You have said that product innovation and user experience are fuboTV’s growth drivers. In an increasingly crowded field of vMVPD and VOD services, how does fuboTV cut through the noise to get people to try the service in the first place?
David Gandler: Our marketing efforts target a high quality customer who will come to fuboTV for our sports content but stay for the entertainment and the premium experience. We utilize the full spectrum of digital and traditional marketing channels to reach potential subscribers.
Once we capture that awareness, it’s important that we offer a better customer experience and service level than our competitors or cable TV. Everyone starts with a free, seven-day trial so they have the opportunity to really test fuboTV and see if it’s right for them and their household. When the free trial is coming to an end, we send a reminder so they can make a conscious decision to become a paying fuboTV subscriber. Most other services just automatically charge you when a trial ends. We don’t think that’s the best way to start a relationship with our subscribers – we believe customer satisfaction to be the key driver of long-term subscriber retention.
That subscriber relationship and their satisfaction is very important to us. We are heavily focused on their feedback when implementing product design decisions. We recently launched an app on Samsung Smart TVs, which was a result of demand from our users. Subscriber feedback was also the reason we prioritized a 4K launch, when our competitors with much more resources don’t have it. It’s that customer that expects a premium experience that comes to fuboTV, and this is who we market to.
We want every subscriber to make fubo their go-to platform for daily video consumption. And they are – our subscribers are spending nearly 80 hours a month on fuboTV. On connected TVs, our most engaged users are spending over 100 hours. Clearly there is a huge appetite for fuboTV’s offering, which is very gratifying for me.