Paramount Global announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2022, and revealed that its global direct-to-consumer subscriber total rose to more than 77 million after adding 10.8 million during the period. Its flagship streaming service Paramount+ grew its subscriber base to 56 million, following a record quarterly increase of 9.9 million subscribers.
According to the company, subscriber growth was driven by a strong content slate, including the NFL, the expansion of existing franchises like ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and ‘1923,’ the success of new franchises like ‘Tulsa King’ and ‘Smile,’ as well as CBS’s overall entertainment slate. Internationally, “Yellowstone” and “Top Gun: Maverick” were top acquisition drivers for the service.
In fact, Paramount Global’s President and CEO, Bob Bakish, credited “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan for boosting viewership for the group in a call with analysts. “In just a three-month span from early November to late January, more than 58 million Taylor Sheridan fans around the world watched over 32 billion minutes of the Taylorverse on both streaming and linear on our platforms,” he said.
On a full year basis, Paramount+ continued to benefit from a partnership-based approach, including establishing and expanding relationships with Walmart, Delta, Sky, Canal+, Amazon and Roku. Moreover, according to Antenna, since launch Paramount+ is the #1 premium streaming service in domestic sign-ups and gross subscriber additions, and had the most sign-ups in 2022.
At the same time, sister streaming service Pluto TV increased its global monthly active users by 6.5 million in the quarter driven by growth in all markets and expansion into Canada. The platform also grew in global total viewing.
Financially speaking, subscription revenue grew 48% year-over-year, principally reflecting paid subscriber growth on Paramount+, which increased its revenue 81% year-over-year. Meanwhile, advertising revenue rose 4% year-over-year and adjusted OIBDA decreased US$73 million year-over-year, reflecting investments in content and international expansion, according to the company.
“Paramount continues to demonstrate the success of its global multiplatform strategy, with popular content at its core. Nowhere was this more evident than in the growth of Paramount+, which added a record 9.9 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, driven by hit content like ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ ‘1923’ and ‘Criminal Minds: Evolution.’ In addition, in 2022, Paramount Pictures had six films open at #1 in the United States box office and Paramount regained its position as the most-watched media family in linear television. Our content and platform strategy is working and, with even more exceptional content coming this year, we expect to return the company to earnings growth in 2024,” Bob Bakish declared.
● CORPORATE DEMAND SHARE
Paramount Global is a top three player when it comes to corporate demand share with US audiences, but the company’s valuable catalog has yet to translate into a top tier streaming service, according to Parrot Analytics.
Paramount+, now with Showtime, has shown steady growth over the last two years, but it still lags the industry frontrunners in key areas of audience demand share and topline subscriber numbers. On the bright side, Parrot Analytics’ Content Valuation data suggests the conglomerate has the goods to sharply increase its licensing revenue by dipping into its high-value catalog.