CEO Bob Bakish: ‘Q4 the Biggest Period in Paramount+ History’

Paramount+ set subscriber growth, usage and revenue records in November, according to Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish. Speaking Dec. 6 at the UBS Global TMT Conference in New York City, the chief executive didn’t disclose actual numbers, saying only that the increases topped the previous record month by double digits.

“We now look at the fourth quarter as the biggest quarter in Paramount+ history,” Bakish said.

Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish

The subscription streaming video platform in 2022 has seen the largest percentage of subscriber growth within the domestic SVOD market. The service ended the most-recent fiscal period (ended Sept. 30) with 46 million subscribers, up from 25.5 million subs during the previous-year period after the rebranding of the CBS All Access SVOD platform to Paramount+ on March 4, 2021.

“Really happy with the momentum we’re seeing,” Bakish said.

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The executive attributed the data point increases to streaming access to high-profile movies (horror film Smile and upcoming Top Gun: Maverick) and the debut of “Tulsa King” starring Sylvester Stallone, among other content initiatives, as well as the partnership between Paramount+ and the Walmart+ e-commerce membership platform.

“We launched Paramount+ last week in France, and we’re launching in Austria and Germany on Thursday [Dec. 8],” Bakish said. “All of this is driving really strong performance.”

When asked about the status surrounding the melding of Paramount+ with the Showtime Anytime subscription streaming service, Bakish said the move has been accelerated with “more coming on that” in 2023 — which includes a likely subscription price hike.

With the ad-free Paramount+ option priced at $9.99 monthly, and $4.99 with commercials, Bakish said the platforms are priced “nowhere near” the ceiling set by competing SVOD services.

“We will move prices up, no question about it,” he said. “We feel very comfortable with our ability to do that.”

Meanwhile, Bakish said it “makes no sense” operating the Showtime SVOD service as a standalone platform despite the brand’s legacy programming that includes “Billions” and the just-launched fictional docuseries “George and Tammy,” which showcases the troubled relationship between country music stars George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Bakish said the series is the highest-rated program ever on Showtime.

“It doesn’t make sense to have separate fully built-out streaming infrastructures for Showtime and Paramount+, so we’re going to bring that together,” Bakish said.

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