ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said the company now anticipates 100 million streaming subscribers in 2024 – well above a previous forecast of 65M-75M, after record ads in the fourth quarter and amid a rebranding of the company to Paramount – (officially ‘Paramount Global’ but the company prefers to be called just ‘Paramount’.)
He said the company is already posting streaming results it didn’t anticipate until next January, and that it’s set to hit its 2024 subscriber target two years ahead of schedule in 2022. Bakish said CFO Naveen Chopra will give more detail on the tail end of a virtual investor day currently underway. The overall earnings numbers didn’t impress the Street with the stock down 4.6% in after-hours trading. It had closed up nearly 3% for the session,
“We’re committed to turning streaming into a sustainable business for the future. We know the opportunity at hand is massive and have the right mix of passion, ambition and discipline,” Bakish said.
The company added a record 9.4 million streaming subscribers. Streaming was by far the standout category in terms of revenue, shooting up 48% to $1.3 billion on the top line. Advertising, by contrast, flatlined at $2.6 billion, up just 1% due to lower political spending and fewer linear impressions.
Wall Street and Hollywood consider streaming essential but are increasingly concerned at the high cost of content to feed it amid fierce competition, along with declines in linear television except for pockets like live sports.
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