ViacomCBS Reports 4.3 Million More Streaming Subs in 3Q

ViacomCBS building in New York's Times Square
(Image credit: Mark Kazlaurich/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

ViacomCBS said it added 4.3 million global streaming subscribers in the third quarter, bringing its total to nearly 47 million.

Streaming revenue topped $1 billion for the first time, increasing 62% from a year ago. Streaming advertising revenue was up 48% and streaming subscription revenue was up 79%.

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The company also said its Pluto TV free streaming platform grew its monthly active users to more than 54 million and its revenue increased 99%.

Growing the streaming business is expensive. ViacomCBS’s net income fell to $538 million, or 80 cents a share, from $615 million, or $1 a share, a year ago.

Total revenue rose 13%, to $6.6 billion.

Advertising revenue was up 1%, to $1.86 billion, and affiliate revenue rose 2%, to $2.1 billion.

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“ViacomCBS continued to show tremendous momentum across the business as we executed against our strategy,” CEO Bob Bakish said. “We added 4.3 million global streaming subscribers, raising our total to nearly 47 million, driven by the scaling of the diverse content offering on Paramount Plus. Looking forward, we’re thrilled about the fresh array of content coming to Paramount Plus 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.”

ViacomCBS’s TV Entertainment unit, including CBS, had adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization of $271 million, down 21% from a year ago. 

Television revenue went up 24% to $2.9 billion. Ad revenue — excluding streaming — was down 2%, to $943 million. Streaming revenue went up 81% to $390 million. Affiliate revenue rose 4% to $698 million. 

Cable network OIBDA rose 5% to $906 million as revenue rose 13% to $3.5 billion. Advertising revenue — excluding streaming — was up 6%, to $917 million. Streaming revenue was up 53% to $689 million. Affiliate revenue rose 1% to $1.4 billion. 

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.