Paramount’s Streaming Business Adds Subscribers, Loses More Money

Paramount Plus key art
(Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Paramount Global said it grew global direct-to-consumer subscribers to 64 million in the second quarter, up 5.2 million subscribers, despite dropping 3.9 million subscribers in Russia.

Losses on the direct-to-consumer business jumped to $445 million in the quarter from $143 million a year ago.

Paramount Plus alone added 4.9 million subscribers to top 43 million. The total reflects the removal of 1.2 million Russian subscribers.

Paramount Plus revenue was up 120% from a year ago.

Paramount’s Pluto TV ad-supported streaming service increased its monthly active users to nearly 70 million, with a double-digit increase in monthly active users.

Overall, the company’s net earnings dropped to $419 million, or 62 cents a share, in the second quarter from $1.036 billion, or $1.56 a share, a year ago.

Paramount said revenue increased 19% to $7.779 billion.

In the direct-to-consumer segment, revenue rose 56% to $1.193 billion. Advertising revenue was up 25% to $363 million and subscription revenue was up 74% to $830 million. Expenses climbed 80% to $1.638 billion from $910 million. 

On the company’s earnings call Thursday, CFO Naveen Chopra said DTC losses in the second half of the year will be similar to the first half. The company repeated its expectation that DTC losses will peak in 2023 and begin to lessen in 2024.

Paramount's TV media business's adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization fell 8% to $1.38 billion. Revenue edged up 1% to $5.256 billion, with advertising revenue down 6% to $2.174 billion, affiliate and subscription revenue down 3% to $2.058 billion and licensing and other revenue up 27% to $1.024 billion.

Filmed entertainment operating income jumped 248% to $181 million. Revenue rose 126% to $1.363 billion boosted by the release of Top Gun: Maverick and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. 

“Paramount continues to build momentum with the assets, strategy and ability to compete—and win,” said CEO Bob Bakish in a statement. 

“In Q2, we grew total company revenue by 19 percent 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,” Bakish said. “At the heart of that growth was our hugely popular content—from the cultural phenomenon and #1 movie in the world, Top Gun: Maverick, to the most popular show in the country, Yellowstone. Our deep and growing library of valuable IP, coupled with the strength of our best-in-class assets, ensures we are well-positioned to continue to maximize value for our shareholders.” ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.