ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish on Thursday projected substantial subscriber growth for the company’s major streaming platforms: Pluto TV, CBS All Access and Showtime.
Currently, Pluto has more than 22 million monthly active users, up 75% year over year, Bakish said on a conference call following its first earnings report since its re-merger last Decemeber. ViacomCBS expects that the ad-supported service will reach 30 million subscribers by the end of December 2020.
CBS All Access and Showtime are currently combining for more than 11 million paid subs, up 50% year over year. Bakish believes that number will grow to 16 million at year’s end. ViacomCBS always reports those pay services together.
For comparison, streaming giant Netflix recently reported 61 million U.S. subscribers and 167 million worldwide.
“But our streaming foundation is not just usage, it’s also financial,” Bakish said. “In 2019, our domestic streaming and digital video business — which includes subscription revenue and digital video advertising — had approximately $1.6 billion in revenue. We see this as a key metric for ViacomCBS and anticipate it growing between 35 and 40% this year, with relatively modest, incremental operating expenses.”
Bakish added that the subscriber growth ViacomCBS has achieved in streaming so far “is overwhelmingly in the U.S., but we’re making early strides to expand internationally.”
“Pluto is already in the U.K., Germany, Austria and Switzerland. And it’s launching in Latin America next month,” he said. “On the pay side, All Access is available in Canada and Australia and our Paramount Plus and Noggin products are also live in numerous territories.”
The updates and guidance from Bakish came as part of ViacomCBS’ fourth-quarter 2019 earnings conference call. Read all about the company’s actual Q4 performance here.
Wall Street was disappointed by those results, and company stock is currently trading down 18%.