CBS All Access and Showtime increased subscribers in the United States to 16.2 million at the end of June, up from 13.5 million the previous quarter and up 74% in a year. Pluto TV, the advertising supported service, had 33 million monthly active users, 26.5 million of them in the United States, up from 24.2 million the previous quarter and up 61% in a year. The company is now planning to expand its CBS All Access service internationally.
ViacomCBS group revenues in the second quarter of 2020 were $6.27 billion, down 12% on the same period the previous year.
Domestic streaming and digital video revenue, including subscription and advertising rose to $489 million, up 25% year-over-year, driven by 52% growth in streaming subscription revenue and growth in advertising revenue for Pluto TV.
Bob Bakish, the chief executive of ViacomCBS, told analysts that streaming was an area in which the ViacomCBS combination is beginning to come to life. He described streaming as probably the most material value creation opportunity in media today.
“Building off our momentum in user, subscriber and consumption growth across our streaming platforms, we will capitalize on our positions across free and pay. This includes adding substantial content assets and user experience enhancements, broadening distribution and leaning into marketing to serve consumers with a robust differentiated suite of linked streaming offering. In short, by providing consumers with the broadest video experience, spanning news, sports, entertainment, local and live across free and pay, we will be a global leader in freemium streaming.”
“Outside the U.S., we also see a tremendous runway for growth in both free and pay streaming, and we’re moving quickly,” he said. “We’re targeting early 2021 for the launch of our international streaming service, a super-sized offering of truly compelling content with first-run originals and library from all ViacomCBS brands, including Showtime.” It will focus on high-value territories including Australia, Latin America and the Nordics.
ViacomCBS has also announced the launch of EyeQ, a connected video advertising platform that will support digital video from its portfolio of broadcast, entertainment, news and sports networks, as explained by John Halley, who is responsible for advertising revenue at the company.
“In unifying the operating backend and go-to-market of three large pre-existing players — CBS Interactive, Pluto TV, and Viacom Video — we have consolidated a massive audience footprint that will deliver quality, scale, and capabilities that cannot be matched.”