ViacomCBS saw some nice increases in streaming revenue in Q3 2021. Paramount Pictures still didn’t pitch in all that much during the quarter — not from movie theaters, at least.
Wall Street had forecast ViacomCBS earnings per share (EPS) of 76 cents on $6.57 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate compiled by Yahoo Finance. ViacomCBS reported an adjusted EPS of 76 cents on $6.61 billion in revenue — so it was right in line with expectations, thanks to that adjustment.
Profits were down, however, compared to the same quarter in 2020. ViacomCBS’ Q3 expenses jumped 32% year over year.
The company also updated us on streaming numbers: Paramount+ and Showtime OTT combined for “nearly” 47 million subscribers. ViacomCBS does not get more granular than that about its SVOD subs.
ViacomCBS reported it had reached 42 million worldwide subscribers across Paramount+ and Showtime at the end of Q2. In February, so this is an increase of 4.7 million global streaming subscribers; ViacomCBS said it expects to reach 65-75 million combined global subscribers by 2024.
ViacomCBS’ streaming revenue rose 62% in the recently wrapped quarter, crossing $1 billion for the first time ever. Advertising revenue at Pluto TV and Paramount+ increased 48% year over year. Subscription revenue rose 79% on that combined Paramount+ and Showtime OTT growth.
Pluto TV, which is free for subscribers, saw revenue nearly double (+99%) year over year, with monthly active users (MAUs) increasing to more than 54 million. International was a big contributor there.
Film revenue slipped 2% this quarter. Though box office sales increased from just $6 million in summer 2020 quarter to $61 million, that’s still not a material number to a company this large. A decrease in licensing revenue more than offset that activity.
Theatrical releases in Q3 included “Paw Patrol: The Movie” and “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins.” “Paw Patrol” was released in theaters and on Paramount+ on the same day, and was free with the streaming subscription.
“A Quiet Place Part II” made it to Paramount+ on July 12, following its 45-day theatrical window. “Snake Eyes,” which came out in theaters on July 23, is still only available on digital release and Blu-ray.
“ViacomCBS continued to show tremendous momentum across the business as we executed against our strategy,” Bob Bakish said in a statement accompanying the financial results. “We added 4.3M global streaming subscribers, raising our total to nearly 47M, driven by the scaling of the diverse content offering on Paramount+. Looking forward, we’re thrilled about the fresh array of content coming to Paramount+ in the next few months and can’t wait to share it with our global audience. Our strategy is clearly working and we’ll continue to use the power of global content, distribution and market expansion to drive scale.”
ViacomCBS stock closed Wednesday afternoon at $37.55. The U.S. stock markets reopen at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Bakish and other top ViacomCBS executives will hold a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail.