Paramount+ added 6.8 million subscribers last quarter, as Paramount ended the period with 62 million global streaming subs, Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish said Tuesday as the company reported Q1 2022 results.
Bakish said reporting the three months “once again demonstrated the power and potential of Paramount’s unique assets and the company’s continued momentum.”
“Our differentiated playbook – including a broad content lineup, a streaming business model that spans ad-supported and subscription, and a global portfolio that links streaming with theatrical and television – drove strength across our entire ecosystem…,” he said. “Our strategy is working and our execution is strong, as we remain focused on delivering a great experience for consumers and a compelling financial model to our shareholders.”
Paramount+ total subscribers reached almost 40 million. Other DTC services subscribers declined, primarily due to timing of new programming, the company said.
Domestically during the first quarter, Paramount+ saw strong engagement and consumption led by Halo, 1883, Star Trek: Picard, live events and the NFL. Internationally, Acapulco Shore was a top acquisition and engagement driver.
Pluto TV grew global monthly active users (MAUs) to nearly 68 million.
The streaming numbers beat expectations. Yet they dropped into a new world regarding streaming sentiment; shares are trading down 4.5% pre-market. The former ViacomCBS is the latest media giant to report its numbers into growing skepticism on Wall Street about the limits of streaming even amid an ongoing pivot by companies to make it a centerpiece.
There are now significant jitters about the heavy investment required for a business that may not grow as fast or become as profitable as quickly as previously hoped, even as a cloud continues to linger over prospects for media television assets. Angst was triggered by unexpected sub declines reported by market leader Netflix last month.
Paramount CEO Bob Bakish Says New ‘Jackass’ Series In The Works For Paramount+
Paramount’s total revenue was flat to down at $7.3 billion, from $7.4 billion. Earnings plunged to $433 million from $911 million — $0.65 per share vs $1.46. Adjusted OIBDA, a kind of operating profit, decreased $307M year-over-year, reflecting increased investment in streaming services.
In DTC, revenue increased 82% year-over-year to $1.1 billion. Subscription revenue grew 95% year-over-year, reflecting paid subscriber growth on Paramount+.
Advertising revenue increased 59% year-over-year, reflecting growth from Pluto TV and Paramount+ driven by increased pricing and impressions on both services. Spending doubled to $1.5 billion.
In TV Media, revenue dipped 6% year-over-year to $5.6 billion, which included an impact of 8 percentage points from the comparison to CBS’ broadcast of Super Bowl LV in the year ago period, partially offset by higher licensing and affiliate revenue. Excluding the impact of the Super Bowl, TV Media revenue grew 2%. Affiliate and subscription revenue grew 1% year-over-year, as higher revenues from rate increases and expanded vMVPD distribution were somewhat offset by MVPD subscriber declines.
Filmed Entertainment revenue fell 27% year-over-year, driven by lower licensing revenues, partially offset by the benefit of current quarter theatrical releases.
Theatrical revenue was a bright spot as movie theaters swung back into action. Revenue of $131 million compared with a mere $1 million the year earlier and included contributions from the strong first-quarter releases of Scream, Jackass Forever and The Lost City.
Top Gun: Maverick opens later this month and got a stunning reception when it was screened in full for movie theater executives last week at CinemaCon. Studio chief Brian Robbins touted Damien Chazelle’s upcoming Babylon and Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves starring Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez.
Licensing sales fell 42% year-over-year on tough comps from the prior-year period which licensed Coming 2 America and Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse. Operating income fell $216 million in the quarter on higher marketing expense associated with in-quarter and future theatrical releases.
Paramount execs are holding a conference call at 8:30 to discuss the numbers.
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