November 6, 2020
Streaming video — both subscription and ad-supported — is the current endgame for ViacomCBS heading into 2021. Third-quarter fiscal results suggest that goal is already bearing fruit.
Domestic streaming and digital video revenue increased to $636 in the third quarter (ended Sept. 30), up 56% year-over-year from $408 million, driven by 78% growth in subscription streaming video revenue and strong double-digit digital video (AVOD) advertising growth.
Indeed, domestic streaming subscribers reached 17.9 million, up 72% year-over-year from 10.4 million, driven by CBS All Access and Showtime OTT having significant growths in sign-ups both sequentially and year-over-year.
ViacomCBS said CBS All Access — which will rebrand to Paramount+ in 2021 — benefited from strong demand for sports content, including UEFA soccer and the NFL, as well as a broad selection of entertainment content, including live TV, reality series, content from in-house cable brands and original programming.
Showtime OTT’s strong quarter was driven by original programming, including the third season of “The Chi,” the continued strength of “Billions” and the final season of “Homeland.” In AVOD, Pluto TV grew its domestic monthly active users to 28.4 million, up 57% year-over-year, and more than doubled its advertising revenue in the quarter. Internationally, Pluto TV monthly average users grew to 7.5 million, bringing its total global user base to nearly 36 million.
“This quarter, we achieved strong user growth across our streaming platforms as we continue to build our linked ecosystem of pay and free services,” CEO Bob Bakish said in a statement. “Our company’s transformation is ahead of schedule and we are incredibly excited by the opportunities ahead.”
Indeed, Pluto TV launched in Spain in October, ahead of upcoming launches in Brazil, France and Italy. The AVOD platform also signed new distribution agreements with LG and Sony PlayStation, extending its reach to an additional 100 million devices worldwide.
In October, ViacomCBS announced Tom Ryan as President and CEO of its new global streaming organization, integrating both its pay and free streaming businesses, while enhancing its ability to leverage its content strength and cross-company franchises.