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.