Paramount Global’s Bob Bakish Teases Boost in Licensing of Studio’s Content as Streaming Expands

“That’s really about going after incremental markets,” the CEO says

Peyton-List-School-Spirits
Peyton List stars Maddie in "School Spirits" (Courtesy of Ed Araquel/Paramount+)

Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish teased an increase in licensing deals across the entertainment giant’s content amid a rapidly expanding streaming ecosystem.

“We continue to look at streaming expansion, and in that regard, we think there is an opportunity to lean more into licensing,” Bakish said during the company’s third quarter earnings call. “That’s really about going after incremental markets, focusing our contribution on — call it Hollywood content — content that we’re already creating for Paramount+ in our markets and doing deals with partners where they take that content [and] ingest it [onto] their platforms.”

He continued by noting that “leaning in incrementally to partners” is “quite compelling from an expansion standpoint” for Paramount Global and its subsideries, including streamer Paramount+.

“With content at the core, Paramount’s combination of advertising, subscription and licensing revenue streams continues to provide attractive growth opportunities and diversification,” Bakish said. “This is particularly important during a period of rapid industry evolution.” 

One of Paramount Global’s most well known licensing deals involves Paramount Network hit drama “Yellowstone,” whose streaming rights were licensed to NBCUniversal-owned Peacock prior to the creation of Paramount Global’s own streamer, Paramount+.

Beyond “Yellowstone,” the studio recently licensed Paramount+ original series “School Spirits,” which stars Peyton List, to Netflix.

With Paramount+ adding 2.7 million subscribers during the fiscal third quarter — totaling to over 63 million subscribers — Bakish noted the Paramount Global team feels “great” about the streamer’s growth.

“The Paramount+ and Showtime integration is clearly working for us,” Bakish said on the call. “We see value from that Showtime content being added to Paramount+, and we see usage in both directions — Showtime users using Paramount+ content and vice versa — so that’s totally working.”

Looking into the fourth quarter, Bakish said Paramount Global expects to see further growth for Paramount+ at both the essential and premium subscription levels.

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