Entertainment

Paramount Second Quarter Earnings, Streaming Subscribers, Advertising – The Hollywood Reporter

Paramount Global added global streaming subscribers in Q2 to reach “nearly 64 million” as of the end of June, up from over 62 million at the end of March. The latest period sees the added 5.2 million subscribers, partially offset by the deletion of 3.9 million subscribers in Russia due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The entertainment group unveiled its latest figures on Thursday as part of its quarterly earnings report, showing its revenue topped Wall Street expectations with a 19% increase to $7.78 billion. la amid 126% growth in the film segment, fueled by recent hits like Top Gun: Maverickand despite a decrease in the advertising revenue of a television media unit.

Paramount’s second-quarter adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) fell 22% to $963 million despite rising streaming investment. Quarterly net income from continuing operations fell from $995 million in the same period a year ago to $358
million.

The company details in its results that its Paramount+ streaming platform added 4.9 million subscribers in the March-June period, partially offsetting the removal of 1.2 million subscribers. million Russian subscribers, to reach “more than 43 million” subscribers, compared with about 39.6 million at the end of the march.

“Paramount+ captured the most subscriptions, total additions, and total net subscribers of any premium domestic streaming service during the quarter according to Antenna’s June 2022 Report ,” Paramount noted in its earnings report. “Paramount + subscriber growth was partly driven by a successful launch in international markets, including the UK, Ireland and South Korea.”

The company also touts its line of streaming content. “Paramount+’s broad content strategy continued to attract audiences during the quarter, including the highly anticipated original series, movies and sports,” it said. “Paramount+ has seen strong engagement and engagement from a variety of content, led by Halo, 1883, Lost City, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Jackass Forever, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and UEFA Champions League (soccer league). Both domestic and international hours tracked per household show strong year-over-year growth.”

During the fourth quarter of 2021, Paramount, led by president and CEO Bob Bakish, added a corporate record 9.4 million global subscribers to its paid streaming services, including both Showtime OTT.

Paramount’s free, ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV also continued to grow its monthly active users, or MAUs, to nearly 70 million at the end of June after reaching “close” 68 million at the end of March. Pluto TV increased its total global watch hours by double digits year-over-year for
Paramount notes the second quarter in a row, also touting the service’s “expanded international presence.”

In his earnings preview, Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahill forecast Paramount+’s 4 million subscriber net additions in the second quarter, or 5 million excluding Russia, but only 1, 3 million streaming network total “due to some weakness at Showtime and (negatively) 2 million impacts from non-Paramount + Russia. He reckons Showtime OTT, Noggin and BET+ have lost around 600,000 subscribers in total.

Paramount’s direct-to-consumer unit posted second-quarter revenue growth of 56% to $1.19 billion, including a 74% increase in subscription revenue and a 25% increase in advertising revenue. It said: “Paramount+ sales grew 120%. Adjusted OIBDA loss in the streaming division increased by $302 million year-over-year to $445 million, “reflecting an increase in investment in our direct-to-consumer services. we”.

Released by Paramount Films Top Gun: Maverick in the second quarter, with the company on Thursday touting the success of the Tom Cruise movie and other recently released films. Cinema unit revenue rose 126 percent in the second quarter to $1.36 billion, “led by strong theatrical performance in the current quarter, with theatrical revenue up $630 million. la,” mainly driven by releases Top Gun: Maverick and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in the quarter. Licensing and other revenue in the film segment grew 27%, “primarily driven by monetization of recent theatrical films”. Adjusted OIBDA in the film unit rose $129 million to $181 million, “reflecting the strong performance of current year’s releases.”

Paramount emphasized that Top Gun: Maverick “Overcome Titanic becoming the biggest Paramount domestic film of all time,” also noting that “five Paramount Pictures films have ranked number one at the box office in the first half of 2022.”

Meanwhile, Paramount’s TV Media unit reported a drop in ad revenue for the second quarter after falling 13% in the first quarter. “Ad revenue fell 6% year-over-year, as pricing only partially offset the impact of lower linear impressions and exchange rates,” the company said. “Affiliate and subscription revenue fell 3% year-over-year, due to lower revenue in international markets where we restructured key affiliate agreements, resulting in business transformation. revenue from pay-TV services to direct-to-consumer services”. But licensing and other revenue grew 27%.

That brought the total revenue of the TV Media unit up 1% at $5.26 billion. Adjusted OIBDA fell 8% to $1.38 billion, “primarily due to lower ad and affiliate revenue.” Paramount highlighted that “CBS was the most watched broadcast network for the second consecutive quarter for the 20th year,” arguing that it “dominated the quarter with the three most watched shows: NCIS, FBI and Blue Blood“Seven out of the top 10 shows of the quarter, as well as” top comedies, including Young Sheldon and Ghost. “

In his earnings update, the company’s CEO expressed confidence in the company’s prospects even as Wall Street analysts have expressed concern about the possibility of an ad. against the backdrop of economic storm clouds. “Paramount continues to build momentum with assets, strategy and competitiveness – and win,” said Bakish. “In the second quarter, we increased the company’s total revenue by 19% and captured market share in streaming, broadcast television, box office and in prepaid dollars, all while strengthening penetrate the most important growth market in the media sector – streaming. At the heart of that
growth is our hugely popular content – from the world’s #1 film and cultural phenomenon, Top Gun: Maverickto the most popular show in the country, Yellowstone. ”

The CEO concludes: “Our growing library of valuable intellectual property, coupled with the strength of our best assets, ensures we are well positioned to continue maximize value for its shareholders”.

Shares of Paramount were down 3% in pre-opening trading around 8 a.m. ET. “The company’s total advertising dollars are $2.545 billion, which is right for us,” but 3% below consensus estimates, Cahall noted in the first response. “Free cash flow is $81 million and against consensus is $85 million.” He summed up his takeaways in the headline of the report: “The Crucial Thing + Results, But Ads and Free Cash Flow Create New Anxiety.”

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