Momentum keeps channel surfing its way to fuboTV (FUBO -3.23%). Shares of the cloud-based live TV platform provider opened sharply higher on Wednesday after the company delivered another blowout quarter.
There's no shortage of skeptics when it comes to pricey live TV streaming services in general or the ascending fuboTV in particular. It remains heavily shorted with 16% of its shares outstanding wrapped up in bearish wagers. fuboTV keeps getting it right with every passing quarter, so let's dive into why the naysayers are on the wrong side of this bet.
1. Growth keeps growing
When fuboTV hit the market in the fall of last year it was understandable to wonder if it was peaking. The platform was growing a lot faster than the established tech and entertainment giants in this space. Could the sports-first platform's heady growth be sustainable? Bulls will appreciate the answer:
- Q3 2020: 71% revenue growth.
- Q4 2020: 98% revenue growth.
- Q1 2021: 135% revenue growth.
- Q2 2021: 196% revenue growth.
Year-over-year revenue gains nearly tripled in Tuesday afternoon's quarterly update. A 138% increase in subscribers over the past year finds fuboTV with 681,721 accounts. Viewers streamed 245 million hours of content through the second quarter, a 148% year-over-year increase. Usage outpacing subscriber growth means that that the average account was spending more time on the platform, rather than less as many feared with real-world social scenes opening back up again earlier this year.
Revenue growing faster than subscriber gains is another positive indicator of monetization. Average revenue per user has risen 30% to $71.43 a month, mostly on folks paying more but also on continuing improvement in the platform's monetization via ads. Advertising revenue per user has soared 62% to a monthly average of $8.70. Even ad-supported free platforms aren't commanding anything close to this -- and this segment is less than 13% of fuboTV's total revenue.
2. Guidance keeps moving higher
Investors have been spoiled by fuboTV jacking up its subscriber guidance. fuboTV has only been public for 10 months, but between updates and reported results we've seen its year-end subscriber goals clock in higher in October and November of last year as well as January, March, May, and now August of this year.
Tuesday treated investors to the sixth guidance increase or beat on subscribers for a company that is still in its rookie season in the public markets. fuboTV now expects to close out the year with 910,000 to 920,000 subscribers -- a 67% increase at the midpoint -- and given its penchant for conservative outlooks it bears pointing out that we still have more than four months left in 2021 for it to revise those goals higher.
fuboTV's refreshed top-line guidance of $560 million to $570 million -- a 116% increase over 2020 -- is also naturally moving higher. Freshly initiated guidance for the current quarter calls for fuboTV to have 810,000 to 820,000 subscribers by the end of next month, generating $140 million to $144 million in revenue for the third quarter.
It's a "beat and raise" across the board. Bears will have to either capitulate or keep rubbing their eyes until they find the holes in the report.
3. Place your bets
The best thing about fuboTV's guidance for the balance of this year is that it does not include any projected revenue from online sports wagering. One of the things that sent fuboTV soaring around the holidays last year was that it was parlaying its niche leadership as a "sport-first" live TV streaming service into potential wagering revenue possibilities.
fuboTV acquired a pair of companies between December of last year and January of this year to help it launch fantasy sports and actual sportsbook features later this year. The launch of predictive free-to-play games has been progressing steadily this summer, but that's merely a tapas-sized taste to get subscribers ready for the launch of Fubo Sportsbook in the fourth quarter of this year. In a preview of the upcoming app, Fubo Sportsbook will update in real time with relevant bets based on what channel a subscriber is watching. As the only live TV streaming service with an in-house sportsbook on the way we're talking about nailing the final mile as a seamless invisible connection between the TV and a mobile betting app.
If you think the bears are scrambling for the exits now after the blowout report, just wait until later this year. Even if you're not the betting type you can probably bet that the naysayers will continue to be at a loss for words in wagering against the fast-growing media stock that fuboTV has become.