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Paramount Plus Adds 6.8 Million Subscribers in Q1

Paramount Plus
(Image credit: ViacomCBS)

Paramount Global reported a total gain of 6.3 million streaming subscribers across its Paramount Plus, Showtime and other OTT brands, reaching 62 million customers by the end of March. 

Driven by NFL Playoff games in January, as well as original shows including Halo, 1883, Star Trek Picard, the year-old Paramount Plus had one of its biggest growth quarters yet, adding 6.8 million customers. 

Paramount Plus, which officially launched on March 4, 2021, reached nearly 40 million subscribers in a little under 13 months. 

This was juxtaposed against a loss of under 1 million OTT customers across Showtime, Noggin, BET Plus and several small international streaming brands, which were down due to cyclical programming related causes, Paramount Global said. 

Paramount Global's revenue from direct-to-consumer services increased 82% year over year to $1.1 billion. Subscription revenue ticked up 95%. Paramount revealed that Paramount Plus will expand to the UK and Korea in June, with infiltration into the increasingly important nation of India coming next year. 

Meanwhile, on the ad-supported side, Paramount Plus' Pluto TV grew its subscriber count to 68 million, up from just over 64 million at the end of 2021 and 56 million at the end of Q3. 

The user growth surpassed the consensus expectations of media equity analysts. 

“Our differentiated playbook, including a broad content line-up, 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," Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish told investors Tuesday morning. 

"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.”

Overall, Paramount Global's total Q1 revenue was slightly down, reaching $7.3 billion vs. $7.4 billion in the first quarter of last year. 

Revenue was down 6% to $5.6 billion in what remains the media conglomerate's cash cow, the linear TV/media side, with CBS not having the Super Bowl in January after covering the big game in 2021. 

Meanwhile, film revenue was off 27%, but Paramount is looking forward to finally debuting its long-anticipated sequel Top Gun: Maverick later this month. 

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!