ViacomCBS Nears 47M Streaming Subs
Streaming revenue topped $1B in Q3, a first, but rising streaming costs hurt profits
NEW YORK—Improved results for streaming services continued to pour in this week, with ViacomCBS reporting for the first time that it had more than $1 billion in streaming revenue during a quarter and that its streaming subs increased by 4.3 million to nearly 47 million in Q3, 2021.
In a Q3, 2021 earnings report that provided new insights into the progress ViacomCBS is making in its shift towards streaming, the company reported that streaming revenue was up 62% year-over-year, driven by strength in subscriptions and advertising and that it had achieved 79% year-over-year growth in streaming subscription revenue.
It also generated 48% year-over-year growth in Q3, 2021 in streaming advertising revenue, largely driven by Pluto TV, which grew global monthly active users (maus) to over 54 million and revenue by 99% year-over-year.
ViacomCBS said that such content as “A Quiet Place Part II,” “Paw Patrol: The Movie,” the return of the NFL and the new CBS fall season helped boost subscriber acquisition and consumption on Paramount+.
The company also noted that SkyShowtime, a recently announced joint venture with Comcast that will include premium and original content from both companies, has plans to reach more than 20 European territories encompassing 90 million homes.
But like Discovery (opens in new tab) and some other programmers, the higher costs of making the pivot to streaming hurt ViacomCBS’s operating income, which fell by about 3% year over year, and earnings per share, which dipped by 25% to $0.69 in Q3, 2021.
In a statement, ViacomCBS president and CEO Bob Bakish noted that "ViacomCBS continued to show tremendous momentum across the business as we executed against our strategy. We added 4.3M global streaming subscribers, raising our total to nearly 47M, driven by the scaling of the diverse content offering on Paramount+. Looking forward, we're thrilled about the fresh array of content coming to Paramount+ in the next few months and can't wait to share it with our global audience. Our strategy is clearly working and we'll continue to use the power of global content, distribution and market expansion to drive scale."
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.