ViacomCBS Q1 2021 Earnings Report: Paramount+ Subscriber Growth

ViacomCBS Earnings Paramount+

Is Paramount+ a authentic danger in the streaming wars or just an additional also ran? AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

On Thursday early morning, ViacomCBS reported its very first quarter 2021 earnings. This gives us onlookers with the means to time travel back again to the superior faculty variations of ourselves to gossip and pass judgment on the business from afar. Superior times.

ViacomCBS extra 6 million worldwide streaming subscribers to arrive at 36 million complete prospects in the quarter. It shipped a 69% 12 months-about-calendar year development in streaming subscription earnings, which the organization characteristics to the “significant momentum” of Paramount+, which introduced on March 4 on the back of preceding company CBS All Accessibility. In the earnings report, ViacomCBS emphasizes that it is centered on a “ecosystem of high quality, pay back and absolutely free companies.”

Yet as we have formerly explored, Paramount+ is fighting an uphill battle in the high quality streaming wars. More complicating issues is the reality that ViacomCBS could be treating the SVOD support as a flashy toy to far better situation alone for a future sale. So at the close of Q1, how is Paramount+ faring against the crowded discipline of streaming Olympians?

A standing check on Paramount+

“ViacomCBS shares were being trading bigger in early trade, pushed by an amazing number of new streaming subscribers,” Samuel Indyk, senior analyst at british, explained to Observer. “The corporation included 6 million world wide streaming subscribers in the quarter as the corporation capitalized on demand for substantial-scale sporting gatherings these types of as the Tremendous Bowl, the NCAA event, and Europe’s Champions League soccer tournament.”

Nonetheless, it is value noting that February’s Super Bowl took area right before CBS All Accessibility rebranded to Paramount+ on March 4. Meanwhile, other beneficial specialty programming cited in the earnings report, these as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah, was accessible live on Paramount+ but not on demand.

Parrot Analytics’ audience awareness measurement system captures an audience behavior dataset. The corporation sifts as a result of social media, fan ratings, and piracy knowledge to characterize viewers need, which demonstrates the want and engagement expressed for a title inside of a current market. While that can often skew the knowledge in favor of a title on a platform with a considerably smaller sized attain than its rivals but with vocal on-line lovers, it does help to quantify the intangible buzz ingredient of a sequence.

Demand for Paramount+ material (9%) is in a close race with HBO Max (10%) and Peacock (8%) shortly ahead of ViacomCBS’ earnings report this early morning, per Parrot. Rebranding CBS All Access to Paramount+ has not yet transformed the platform’s standing as mid-sized participant in the United States SVOD current market, especially when compared to industry leaders such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Primary Movie and Disney+.

ViacomCBS Earnings Paramount+ Subscribers

U.S. 2021 SVOD desire Parrot Analytics

CBS’s library of written content and the high-demand Star Trek electronic original collection inherited from CBS All Obtain give Paramount+ a realistic mid-amount situation in the U.S. SVOD industry. The inclusion of the well-liked animated Avatar franchise also does not damage, especially with higher-upside movies and series in improvement for long run launch. The Paramount+ U.S. SVOD demand from customers share of all-around 9% is pretty steady month-by-thirty day period, per Parrot Analytics.

The rebrand in early March did grant a modest strengthen in need to the platform, but the relative progress in other SVODs at the exact time meant this held the need share continual instead than primary to an improve in complete phrases. In other text, it didn’t enhance the service’s overall marketshare. Providing off large profile films these kinds of as The Demo of the Chicago 7 (Netflix), Coming 2 The us (Amazon) and Without Remorse (Amazon) served furbish Paramount’s coffers with substantially-required pandemic profits, but it still left Paramount+ without the need of any marquee original films with which to entice early possible subscribers.

Paramount+ has not nevertheless caught up to some of the additional proven level of competition in terms of demand for material accessible on platform immediately after only launching in March. But Parrot Analytics does note that ViacomCBS and its subsidiaries make a voluminous amount of programming that can enable transferring ahead.

ViacomCBS Earnings Paramount+

U.S. information demand share by firm. Parrot Analytics

The overall desire for content material originally out there on a ViacomCBS residence was 2nd only to Disney as of Q1 2021 (side observe: Tv set Land turned Paramount+ sitcom More youthful is superior!). Nonetheless, with ViacomCBS nonetheless arranging to license information out to its rivals, it continues to be to be witnessed if the corporation is dedicated enough to leverage its very own library for streaming development even though sacrificing rewarding brief-phrase income. 

“As film theaters reopen, ViacomCBS should be ready to return theatrical profits to pre-pandemic concentrations, right after slipping to an immaterial amount through the quarter as theaters remained shut,” Indyk reported. “With COVID-similar creation delays subsiding, Television and film manufacturing will resume complete throttle and ought to provide a boon for licensing revenue development in the months forward.”

Is Paramount+ Helping or Hurting ViacomCBS Right Now?