ViacomCBS added 4.3 million online video subscribers globally in the third quarter of 2021, taking its total to nearly 47 million, with subscription revenue up by nearly 80% year on year. Its advertising supported Pluto TV offering has grown monthly active users to over 54 million, with revenues up almost 100% on the previous year. Online is growing, but currently only represents a small contribution to total revenues.
Online video subscriber additions were led by Paramount+, both in the United States and internationally, in Canada, Latin America, Brazil, and Australia.
ViacomCBS has previously announced a joint venture with Comcast, the parent company of Sky. SkyShowtime will reach more than 20 territories in Europe, covering 90 million homes.
PlutoTV grew monthly active users by 2.1 million in the third quarter to a total of 54 million globally. It is likely to become a billion-dollar business this year.
Online video subscription revenues rose to $584 million in the third quarter of 2021, overtaking advertising revenues for online video, which rose to $531 million, taking total revenue from online video to over a billion dollars for the quarter for the first time.
That is out of total quarterly revenue of $6.6 billion. So online video contributed 16% of total revenue and subscriptions made up half of that. To put that in context, traditional television advertising contributed 28% and affiliate revenues almost 32%, together making up nearly 60% of revenues.
ViacomCBS will report its direct-to-consumer segment separately from 2022, including revenue from Paramount+, Pluto TV and Showtime OTT.
Bob Bakish, the chief executive of ViacomCBS, told analysts “These strong streaming results reinforce our conviction that our strategy is working and that we’re well positioned to capture the significant opportunity in the global streaming ecosystem.”
“We are benefiting from our broadcast, cable and social reach, driving consumers to Paramount+, with its both an efficient and effective way to promote our new and existing series, movies and events and streaming,” he said.
“I really see our international footprint as a key accelerant for the company to unlock the very significant opportunity in streaming outside the United States.”
Asked whether the company would continue to offer its services through Amazon channels, he said he continued to believe in broad and ubiquitous distribution. “We continue to believe in the benefit of these wholesale relationships in terms really of providing access to the largest total addressable market,” he said. “Of course, it’s something we’re going to continue to evaluate over time as we scale.”