Paramount+, Showtime Top 62 Million Combined Subscribers
Halo (Courtesy of Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+)
Paramount+ and Showtime topped a combined 62 million subscribers at the end of the first quarter, Paramount Global revealed along with its earnings report Tuesday. From that Q1 total, 6.8 million are Paramount+ sub additions, bringing that streamer’s solo tally to almost 40 million customers.
Paramount’s total streaming base is up 6.3 million from the 56 million subscribers that the company reported it had by the end of 2021. In that fourth quarter, 80% of Paramount’s new streaming subs — or 7.3 million — were strictly Paramount+ additions.
Paramount did not breakout Showtime OTT’s total, but revealed that streaming service saw a loss in customers by noting “other DTC services subscribers declined, primarily due to timing of new programming.” Those “other” services include Showtime OTT, Noggin, BET+ and a few smaller international offerings, which Paramount Global president and CEO Bob Bakish confirmed during the earnings call later Tuesday had declined by roughly 500,000 customers in the quarter. Per Bakish, the small hit to Showtime this quarter isn’t shaking Paramount, but he reminded investors the company is “on a path to integrate” Paramount+ and Showtime more with an in-app bundling option this summer.
Per Paramount Global (recently renamed from ViacomCBS), “domestically, Paramount+ saw strong engagement and consumption from a variety of content, including ‘Halo,’ ‘1883,’ ‘Star Trek Picard,’ live events and the NFL,” while, “internationally, ‘Acapulco Shore’ was a top acquisition and engagement driver for the service.”
Paramount Global’s free platform Pluto TV rose to nearly 68 million monthly active users (MAUs) during Q1, up from more than 64 million MAUs at the end of 2021 and 54 million at the end of Q3.
According to Paramount, streaming revenue was up 82% year-over-year in Q1, with sub revenue increasing 95%, “reflecting paid subscriber growth on Paramount+,” and ad sales rising 59%, “reflecting growth from Pluto TV and Paramount+ driven by increased pricing and impressions on both services.” For the quarter overall, Paramount Global saw profit fall despite those streaming gains.
In February, the rebranded company told investors that it was raising its global streaming subscriber goal from 65 million-75 million by 2024 to more than 100 million by the end of that year.
In comparison to Paramount Global’s first-quarter streaming growth, HBO and HBO Max ended Q1 with 76.8 million global subscribers (up 3 million from the previous quarter) and Netflix fell to 221.64 million total in the fourth quarter (down 200,000 from Q4). Disney+’s results will be revealed along with Disney’s Q1 earnings next week, but as of the end of 2021, the streamer had closed the 130 million worldwide subs.
“The first quarter once again demonstrated the power and potential of Paramount’s unique assets and the company’s continued momentum,” Bakish said in a prepared statement accompanying the Q1 earnings results Tuesday. “Our differentiated playbook — including a broad content lineup, a streaming business model that spans ad-supported and subscription, and a global portfolio that links streaming with theatrical and television — drove strength across our entire ecosystem, including DTC revenue growth of 82% and 6.8 million Paramount+ subscriber additions. Our strategy is working and our execution is strong, as we remain focused on delivering a great experience for consumers and a compelling financial model to our shareholders.”
Variety's Jennifer Maas contributed to this post.