ViacomCBS added 6.5 streaming subscribers in the second quarter, reaching 42 million worldwide, powered by the rebranded and expanded Paramount+.
The revamp of CBS All Access delivered its first full quarter of results since launching in March. ViacomCBS offered the streaming stats along with its full quarterly numbers.
At an investor day earlier this year, ViacomCBS said it hoped to be at 65 million to 75 million global streaming subscribers by 2024. The latest tally puts it slightly ahead of that pace, given the plan to launch in two dozen more global territories by next year. It has already gotten to Latin America, Canada and the Nordics, and will launch in the UK and many key European territories in 2022 under a just-announced deal with Sky.
ViacomCBS is not revealing subscriber numbers for each individual territory or region.
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“It’s clear Paramount+ is resonating with consumers both in the US and internationally,” CEO Bob Bakish said. “And that’s because it’s a differentiated product with real competitive advantages. It has something for everyone, and we saw strong subscriber acquisition and engagement across a variety of different genres.”
Advertising revenue from streaming more thank doubled, hitting $502 million in the quarter. The category is a catch-all that includes Paramount+, Pluto TV and free offerings like CBSN and TV Everywhere apps for networks like Comedy Central. Streaming subscription revenue jumped 82%.
Pluto continues to be a growth story, reaching more than 52 million monthly active users. The free service, which combines hundreds of live networks and a suite of on-demand titles, launched in 2014 and was acquired by Viacom in 2019 for $340 million in cash.
Paramount+, similar to NBCUniversal’s Peacock, combines live news and sports with original programming and a library of film and TV titles. It arrived in a crowded field, with Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV+, Peacock and Discovery+ all launching within the same 18-month span. Netflix continues to set the pace in streaming, with 209 million subscribers in more than 200 global territories.
Comparisons with past quarters are a bit inexact, given the March rebrand and merger of CBS and Viacom in 2019 and the way the company has historically reported numbers. CBS All Access and Showtime’s OTT service had been reported as a single number (30 million combined subscribers, pre-Paramount+) and the company still does not break them out separately. ViacomCBS also has niche services like BET+ and Noggin, but they are a small fraction of the overall streaming total.
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