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Paramount Plus grabs 64 million global streaming subscribers

(Video frames courtesy Paramount Global, animation by The Desk)

Media giant Paramount Global said it added 5.2 million global subscribers in the last three months to end its recent financial quarter with 64 million global subscribers across its various premium streaming products.

The announcement was made as part of the company’s quarterly earnings report that revealed Paramount Global took in $7.78 billion last quarter, a 19 percent increase compared to the previous quarter.

The number of global subscribers included a loss of 3.9 million customers based in Russia after Paramount Global pulled its business from the country amid Russia’s unprovoked and violent military conflict in Ukraine.

Paramount Global said its flagship streaming service, Paramount Plus, has 43 million global subscribers, an increase of 4.9 million worldwide customers. That figure was offset by a loss of 1.9 million customers in Russia, the company said.

The company’s other direct-to-consumer subscription streaming services include BET Plus, Noggin and a streaming version of its multiplex cable network Showtime. The figures reported on Thursday do not include Sky Showtime, a European streaming service operated in partnership with Comcast that was announced last year but has yet to launch.

But Paramount Plus is the company’s crown jewel: On Thursday, Paramount Global said the flagship streaming service helped its direct-to-consumer streaming revenue increase by 56 percent. At Paramount Global, subscription revenue jumped 74 percent compared to last year, with the company earning $830 million from Paramount Plus’ ad-supported and commercial-free tiers of service.

In addition to its pay streaming services, Paramount Global owns the free, ad-supported service Pluto TV, which operates as a semi-autonomous unit within the company. On Thursday, Paramount Global said Pluto TV’s monthly active users grew to almost 70 million around the world and was the top free streaming service in the United States.

Advertising revenue from Pluto TV and the ad-supported version of Paramount Plus grew 25 percent, Paramount Global said.

“Paramount continues to build momentum with the assets, strategy and ability to compete and win,” Robert Bakish, Paramount Global’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The company’s overall revenue was helped in part by the theatrical release of the summer sequel “Top Gun: Maverick,” which was one of the biggest movies of the year. The film, which had a budget of $170 million, helped Paramount Global earn over $1.33 billion at the box office, according to figures reviewed by The Desk.

The movie, coupled with Paramount Global’s streaming services, helped the company weather a storm within its legacy broadcast properties, including its CBS network.

While many of the top shows on network TV aired on CBS over the last few months, the company said its television advertising revenue dipped 6 percent compared to last year and 13 percent compared to the previous quarter. Much of that drop was blamed on weaknesses in its ad-supported terrestrial and cable networks overseas, but affiliate revenue from CBS and its owned-and-operated stations weighed on its quarter as well.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).