The Fox News streaming service had its most successful month of 2022 due to “Yellowstone: One-Fifty,” the “Patriot Awards,” and a key distinction compared to CNN+.
Fox Nation, the paid streaming service that goes along with Fox News Channel, is about to end its best month of 2022, which has been a good year overall. Compare this to CNN+, which only lasted 32 days in the spring of this year.
Fox Nation debuted in November 2018 to satisfy the Fox News fanatic who (somehow) couldn’t get enough of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and the rest of the cable news crew. It has since added the linear channel’s primetime shows on-demand, along with original history, lifestyle, and travel programming — and even Christmas movies — to its on-demand library.
Fox CFO Steve Tomsic best summarized (or predicted, depending on your perspective) the evolution in June 2021.
Tomsic stated at an investor conference that Nation began as a sort of ancillary service or supplementary service figure for the Fox News superfan. “During the initial twelve to eighteen months, the content was geared toward Fox News superfans. Because the audience is so incredibly loyal and willing to consume the content that Fox News, the brand, and the overall Fox News media landscape provides, I believe we’ve become much more cognizant of Fox News’ ability to exert influence on a much broader portfolio of programming than just from a news perspective.
Before branching out into “Tucker Carlson Today,” “Tucker Carlson Originals,” and even programming that has nothing to do with Tucker Carlson, Fox Nation added Carlson’s primetime telecast the following day; the same was true for “Hannity” and Laura Ingraham’s programs. CNN+ never did that; the CNN linear offshoot consisted entirely of original programming and was an attempt to preserve the billion-dollar linear business of the company. CNN executives overlooked the fact that a large number of individuals must be willing to pay to see your personalities outside of the newsroom.
But returning to Fox, Tomsic continued, “With these two things coming together, we believe there is a much broader type of programming that Fox Nation can get involved in to serve its audience and drive subscriber growth and that sort of continued loyalty that Fox News’ media portfolio enjoys.”
Clint Eastwood signed a film deal with Fox Nation during the same summer. This year, Nation premiered its first original series “Duck Family Treasure” (from the “Duck Dynasty” cast), its first original film “The Shell Collector,” and its first original holiday film “Christmas at the Greenbrier.” Other highlights of 2022 include the reality series “Sharon Osbourne: To Hell and Back,” the second season of the revived former Fox broadcast series “COPS,” and the announcement that a Roseanne Barr stand-up comedy will debut on the platform the following year.
Kevin Costner and Fox are capitalizing on the success of his Paramount Network series “Yellowstone” with the Fox Nation series “Yellowstone: One-Fifty.” One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. “One-Fifty” celebrates the 150th anniversary of the national park; the only similarities to the scripted drama are Costner, the picturesque landscape, and a clickbait title.
Furthermore, there is the (relative) popularity. The 20 November premiere of “Yellowstone: One-Fifty” is already Fox Nation’s most-watched program of the year. In addition to the streamer’s “Patriot Awards” three days earlier, Fox Nation executives had additional reasons for gratitude this month.
Yes, Fox Nation is able to have its cake and eat it too, without cannibalizing Fox News Channel viewers, which was a concern for CNN/CNN+. According to Nielsen data, while CNN and MSNBC are down 29 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in viewers throughout the day, Fox News Channel is up 13 percent.
Want more impressive stats? Fox Nation has a conversion rate of 85%, meaning that only 15% of those who sign up for a free trial cancel before the first payment is charged. In May, Fox Corporation’s chief executive officer Lachlan Murdoch stated that Nation has a churn rate of approximately 7 percent, comparable to Netflix and among the best in streaming.
Murdoch stated in May that the number of Fox Nation subscribers “tripled in less than 18 months.” In August, he reported that the number of subscribers had increased by approximately 80 percent over the previous fiscal year. Michael Nathanson, a researcher in the media industry, estimates that Fox Nation has more than one million paying subscribers. Fox does not report subscriber numbers for Fox Nation, according to a Fox Nation insider who spoke with IndieWire.
Despite the current Black Friday promotion, subscriptions are typically not inexpensive (hooray for ARPU): Fox Nation costs $5.99 per month (or $64.99 per year), which is a dollar more than the cheapest Peacock, Discovery+, and Paramount+ plans and a dollar less than Apple TV+. Hulu and Disney+ each cost $7.99 per month.