Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Ups Q2 Revenue, Fiscal Loss

Ad-supported VOD distributor Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Aug. 11 reported a net loss of $20 million on revenue of $37.6 million during the second quarter (ended June 30). That compared with a net loss of $11 million on revenue of $22.1 million during the previous-year period.

Cos Cob, Conn.-based Chicken Soup, whose AVOD platforms include Crackle Plus, earlier in the day closed the acquisition of Redbox Entertainment.

William J. Rouhana Jr.,

William J. Rouhana Jr., chairman and CEO of Chicken Soup, said the AVOD distributor’s quarterly revenue growth reflected “terrific execution” by the company’s ad sales team, underscored by strong viewership growth, and increased user time spent on the company’s tech platform.

“[The Redbox deal] gives us immediate scale, growing our film and television library to over 51,000 titles, 36,000 [Redbox] kiosks, establishing a broad complement of AVOD, TVOD and FAST channel services reaching millions of viewers across dozens of platforms,” Rouhana Jr. said in a statement.

The executive said the collective assets of Chicken Soup and Redbox create an entertainment company that he believes would generate more than $500 million in revenue and $100 million to $150 million in pre-tax earnings on an annualized basis.

“We delivered outstanding results in our last quarter ahead of the transformational acquisition of Redbox,” Rouhana Jr. said.

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Vizio Swings to $2.3 Million Q2 Profit

Consumer electronics manufacturer Vizio Holding Corp. Aug. 10 reported net income of $2.3 million on revenue of $408.9 million for the second quarter (ended June 30). That compared with a net loss of $14 million on revenue of $401.1 million during the previous-year period.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company’s foray as facilitator of third-party streaming video content for its user base of smart-TV owners continues to resonate. The company ended the fiscal quarter with 16.1 million SmartCast active accounts, up 15% from 14 million accounts during the previous-year period.

SmartCast hours increased 22% to 4.3 billion hours, from 3.5 billion hours a year ago, with the average revenue per user up 54% to $25.87, from $16.79.

“Our second-quarter results show the success of the dual revenue model we’ve built.,” CEO William Wang said in a statement.

Indeed, total revenue again exceeded $400 million, led by the platform business which grew 69% year-over-year to a record $111 million. Smart-TV shipments increased 5% to 1.1 million.

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AMC Networks Increased Q2 SVOD Subs to 10.8 Million

AMC Networks Aug. 5 said it added 1.3 million subscription streaming video subscribers in the second quarter (ended June 30), to end the period with 10.8 million. The sub growth was led by the launch of the AMC+ streaming bundle platform in Spain.

AMC’s other streaming services include Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, ALLBLK, and the newest addition to its streaming portfolio, the anime focused HIDIVE.

The company said it remains on track to achieve long-term subscriber goal of 20 million to 25 million streaming subscribers by 2025.

In the quarter, AMC received 12 Emmy nominations, including seven for “Better Call Saul,” renewed two AMC original series, “Moonhaven” and “Dark Winds,” for second seasons, and ordered another new series in “The Walking Dead” universe, featuring original stars Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira.

It also acquired North American rights to new series “Monsieur Spade,” from Emmy Winners Scott Frank and Tom Fontana, featuring Clive Owen in the role of Sam Spade, the character created by Dashiell Hammett and featured in The Maltese Falcon.

The company expanded its streaming distribution footprint in India with the launch of AMC+ on Amazon Prime Video Channels.

Net revenue decreased 4% to $738 million, from $771 million in the previous-year period, while streaming revenue grew 20%, offset by several timing impacts in the quarter, including expected lower affiliate, content licensing, and advertising revenue, and unfavorable foreign exchange translation. Consolidated operating income fell 22% to $195.5 million, from $250 million a year ago.

“As we leverage our strong linear business, we are seeing increasing demand for our digital and advanced advertising opportunities,” Mark Blank, outgoing interim CEO, said in a statement.

Blank, who is being replaced by the promotion of CFO Christina Spade to the CEO position in September, said AMC’s content creation strengths were on full display in the quarter, with viewership records, widespread critical acclaim for new and returning series including for “Better Call Saul” and “Dark Winds,” and Emmy Award nominations across major categories.

“We are building our business in a steady, disciplined and sustainable fashion, positioning ourselves for future growth and delivering shareholder value,” Blank said.

Paramount’s Q2 ‘Licensing and Other’ Revenue Increased 27%

Paramount Global Aug. 4 reported second-quarter (ended June 30) revenue of $587 million in its “licensing and other” business segment, which was up 27% from revenue of $463 million in the prior-year period.

The business unit, which includes Paramount Home Entertainment, said the revenue increase was primarily driven by the monetization of recent theatrical releases, including the 1986 box office hit Top Gun in foreign markets.

Pre-tax operating income for filmed entertainment increased $129 million in the quarter to $181 million, from $52 million in the previous-year period, reflecting the strong performance of current year movie releases.

Indeed, revenue grew 126% year-over-year to $1.36 billion led by the $630 million revenue surge driven by the releases of Top Gun: Maverick and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in the quarter.

Maverick has earned more than $1.3 billion to date at the box office globally and continues to draw audiences to theaters. In addition to being the most successful Paramount movie domestically, it is now in the top 10 domestic films of all-time.

Notably, Maverick has not yet been released in retail channels, which portends strong future digital and packaged-media sales for the Tom Cruise sequel.

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Meanwhile, The Lost City and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 debuted No. 1 at the box office and in retail channels, joining Scream, Jackass Forever and Top Gun: Maverick to total five No. 1 films in the first half of the year, with Sonic 2 making history as the biggest video game movie opening of all-time.

“At the heart of that [revenue] growth was our hugely popular content, including the cultural phenomenon and No. 1 movie in the world, Top Gun: Maverick,” CEO Bob Bakish said in a statement. “Our deep and growing library of valuable IP, coupled with the strength of our best-in-class assets, ensures we are well-positioned to continue to maximize value for our shareholders.”

Paramount Global Q2 Streaming Sub Count Reduced to 64M After 3.9M Russian Sub Loss

Paramount Global’s strategic shift into direct-to-consumer distribution of movies and television shows continues to resonate with consumers.

The media giant Aug. 4 reported it ended the second quarter (ended June 30) with nearly 64 million streaming video subscribers across its Paramount+, Showtime Anytime, BET+ and Noggin platforms. That was after the removal of 3.9 million Russian subscribers when Paramount halted business operations in the country following its government’s unprovoked invasion of the Ukraine. Paramount ended Q1 with more than 62 million SVOD subs worldwide.

Specifically, Paramount+ added 4.9 million subs in Q2 to end the quarter with more than 43 million subs, which included the removal of 1.2 million Russia subscribers.

Paramount+ saw strong acquisition and engagement from a variety of
content led by “Halo,” “Yellowstone” prequel “1883,” “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” movies The Lost City, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Jackass Forever, and the UEFA Champions League soccer tournament.

Paramount said its branded SVOD service (formerly CBS All Access) captured the most sign-ups, gross and net subscriber additions of any premium domestic streaming service in the quarter, citing Antenna’s June 2022 Report. Subscriber growth was partially driven by international market launches, including the U.K., Ireland and South Korea.

Separately, Paramount’s ad-supported VOD service Pluto TV saw its global monthly active users (MAUs) approach nearly 70 million, which the media company said is tops among all AVOD platforms in the U.S., including rival Fox Entertainment’s Tubi platform. The AVOD platform added 2.1 million MAUs in the quarter.

Pluto TV grew total global viewing hours by double digits year-over-year for the second consecutive quarter. The platform expanded its international presence, launching in the Nordics in partnership with Viaplay Group and announced partnership with Corus in Canada, which will launch later this year.

Direct-to-consumer revenue increased 56% year-over-year to $1.2 billion, from $767 million in the previous-year period. Subscription revenue grew 74% year-over-year to $830 million, from $476 million, principally
reflecting paid subscriber growth at Paramount+.

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The segment’s advertising revenue rose 25% year-over-year to $363 million, from $291 million, reflecting growth from Paramount+ and Pluto TV, driven by increased impressions on both services. Paramount+ revenue alone grew 120%.

Paramount announced it still believes the DTC business unit is on track to generate 100 million subscribers and $9 billion in revenue by 2024, with operating losses increasing in 2023 before moving toward profitability.

At the same time, growth across the DTC business unit impacted the bottom line. Adjusted pre-tax earnings in the quarter decreased $302 million to an expanded loss of $445 million, compared with a pre-tax loss of $143 million a year ago.

“In Q2, we grew total company revenue by 19% and took market share in streaming, in broadcast TV, in box office and in upfront dollars, all while increasing our penetration of the most important growth market in media—streaming,” Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish said in a statement.

Imax: ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,’ ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Drive Q2 Fiscal Resurgence

High-resolution theatrical distributor Imax Corporation said the recent box office success Paramount Pictures’ Top Gun: Maverick, Disney/Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World Dominion contributed to second-quarter (ended June 30) revenue of $247.7 million, compared with $108.6 million in revenue in the previous-year period.

The distributor said the increased revenue and audience engagement reduced the Q2 net loss to $2.9 million from $9.2 million during the same period a year ago.

“Imax is playing a leading role in the global resurgence in moviegoing,” CEO Richard Gelfond said in a statement. “In fact, our second-quarter results in North America were on par with our record-breaking 2019.”

Gelfond said he was encouraged by the distributor’s three consecutive $25 million-plus global box office openings for the first time in its history. The executive said he believes upcoming theatrical releases such as Brad Pitt’s Bullet Train, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water will drive big-screen ticket sales going forward.

“We continue to enhance and diversify our content portfolio with Hollywood blockbusters, more of which feature Imax DNA technology; local languages across a growing international footprint; documentaries; and live events,” Gelfond said. “We are focused on driving future growth for the company across our global network, content portfolio, and technology platform.”

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Charter/Spectrum Loses High-Speed Internet Subscribers in Q2

In a switch, cable pay-TV operator Charter Communications July 29 disclosed it lost 42,000 high-speed internet subscribers in the second quarter, ended June 30. With the rise in over-the-top video distributors, consumers have been migrating to broadband in order to receive streaming service.

Charter, which operates under the Spectrum brand, still saw a spike in overall residential and small business broadband subs, ending the period with 30.2 million subs compared with 29.6 million subs in the previous-year period.

CEO Tom Rutledge

Meanwhile, the pay-TV subscriber attrition continues. Spectrum lost 240,000 video subs in the quarter — a decline softened slightly by the addition of 642,000 small business accounts. Still, the pay-TV sub loss dwarfed last year’s decline of 63,000 video subs. Spectrum ended the period with almost 15.5 million video subs, down from 16 million a year ago.

CEO Tom Rutledge said he believes the company can continue to grow its overall business by melding fixed and mobile broadband service at a reduced price to customers.

“Our growth has always been driven by offering value-rich packages at prices customers can afford,” Rutledge said in a statement. “Looking forward, we remain well-positioned to grow our business using that same strategy.”

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