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Fox to Focus on ‘Softer’ Lifestyle Content Based on Fox Nation Success

Joshua Thiede

While Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch understands why many consumers think that streaming service Fox Nation is just a streaming version of Fox News, but in an interview with Axios, the exec touted the success of documentaries and outdoor content on the service. In fact, non-news content has been so successful for the streamer that the company is seeking to branch out into lifestyle verticals including home, outdoors, and books.

Since launching in 2018, Fox Nation has had success with what Murdoch calls “softer content.” With a focus on outdoor-oriented shows and documentaries, the lifestyle expansion is geared toward increasing viewership while simultaneously bolstering Fox’s bottom line. Whether these new verticals eventually become part of Fox Nation or their own standalone services is yet to be seen, but Fox has already begun shifting its weight towards a softer content model.

After launching in October of last year, Fox Weather supplies cord-cutters with 24/7 weather-focused streaming that boasts affiliates across the country, and is increasingly being added to platforms like DIRECTV STREAM. Murdoch notes that the streaming app already has over 1.5 million downloads.

However, the decision to focus on programming outside of its more partisan reputation may be motivated by more than money. Axios indicates that the company’s desire for general entertainment content may be spurred by the critical coverage that Fox News has had over the past few months. However, Murdoch believes that criticism is part of doing business.

“I think when you’re in the news business, and you’re number one … you get a lot of heat and it just comes with the territory,” he said.

Fox’s subtle pivot comes on the back of the exceptional success that the company has had with its newly acquired ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) service Tubi, which saw a 50% increase in advertiser revenue in the first quarter of 2022. Murdoch has been open about his belief that AVOD is the future of broadcasting, and with Tubi revenue expected to reach $700 million in 2022, he may be on to something.

Between Tubi, Fox Nation, and Fox Weather, Murdoch said that his company plans to invest between $200-$300 million per year with the plan to achieve profitability in “a few years.”

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