Paramount Global added global streaming subscribers in the second quarter to reach “nearly 64 million” as of the end of June, up from more than 62 million as of the end of March. That includes the addition of 5.2 million subscribers, partially offset by the removal of 3.9 million subscribers in Russia.
The entertainment conglomerate revealed the latest figures on Thursday as part of its quarterly earnings report, which saw its revenue exceed Wall Street expectations. It also detailed that its Paramount+ streaming platform grew by 4.9 million, minus 1.2 million removed Russia subscribers, to hit “over 43 million” subscribers, compared with “almost 40 million” as of the end of March, which saw the flagship streamer hit 39.6 million users.
The latest quarter included the launch of Paramount+ original Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and most episodes of Halo, which had launched at the end of the first quarter.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, the company, led by president and CEO Bob Bakish, had added 9.4 million global subscribers to its pay streaming offerings, which also include Showtime OTT.
Paramount’s free, advertising-supported streaming service Pluto TV also continued to grow its monthly active users, or MAUs, to x million as of the end of June after hitting “nearly” 68 million as of the end of March.
Paramount’s film unit released Top Gun: Maverick during the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Paramount’s TV Media unit posted an advertising revenue drop in the second quarter after a 13 percent decline in the first quarter. “Advertising revenue decreased 6% year-over-year, as pricing only partially offset the impact of lower linear impressions and FX,” the firm said.
In his earnings preview, Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahill had forecast 4 million Paramount+ subscriber net additions in the second quarter, or 5 million when excluding Russia, but only 1.3 million total streaming net adds “due to some weakness at Showtime and a (negative) 2 million impact from non-Paramount+ Russia subs.” He suggested that Showtime OTT, Noggin and BET+ collectively lost around 600,000 subs.
“We think Paramount+ benefited from Halo, the Sky Cinema deal in the U.K., and a few hundred thousand net adds from the T-Mobile U.S. deal,” Cahall wrote. “We think the Sky Cinema deal in totality could add around 9 million subs, with additional Sky market launches expected in the fourth quarter. We estimate non-Paramount+ net adds of -2.7 million, driven by a severed low average revenue per user distributor deal in Russia impacting net adds by 2 million. The cumulative impact from Russia on direct-to-consumer (DTC) subs is 3 million, including -1 million to Paramount+. Our total DTC net adds estimate is 1.3 million versus 2.7 million consensus, though our Paramount+ net adds are in-line.”